Oxford pensioner 'devastated' after being conned out of £20,000 life savings in banking scam

  • Leonard Adams from Cowley told ITV Meridian's Ciaran Fitzpatrick he never thought he would be the victim of a scam.

An Oxford pensioner who lost £20,000 of his life savings to fraudsters says he's "devastated" at falling for a con.

Leonard Adams from Cowley wants his money back after he was scammed into transferring it out of his bank account.

Lloyd's Bank says it sympathises but is not returning the money, so he's now reliant on his pension to make ends meet.

The 71-year-old wants to raise awareness of how it can happen to anyone.

71-year-old Leonard Adams thought he was too careful to be caught out by scammers. Credit: ITV Meridian

He'd saved £25,000 for a lease extension on his flat, but a phone call last August from a con artist claiming to be Lloyds Bank pressured him to transfer £20,000 of it to another account.

"I never thought it would happen to me because I'm so careful.

"Usually the scammers ask for your card details don't they, so straight away I thought it must be Lloyds, it must be a genuine call."

But it wasn't - during the conversation they told him someone was trying to access his account and convinced him that someone at the local branch was working with fraudsters.

He says they asked him to move his money to a secure account and not to say anything to the staff.

Leonard Adams has contacted the financial ombudsman in the hope of recovering his money. Credit: ITV Meridian

When he asked the bank to make the transfer they asked him five questions relating to fraud.

"One of the questions was, did anybody ask you to move your money, and I said no. So they've got me down as lying to the bank."

"So they reckon that is part of the reason why they won't give me my money back, because I lied to the bank to start with, and secondly because they thought I should have checked out the scammer a bit more."This type of fraud, where a scammer pretends to be your bank, is called impersonation fraud.

The common signs are:

  • You get an urgent call or text asking for financial information

  • You feel pressured to act which leaves you in a state of panic

  • You could be asked to transfer money online or through a cash withdrawal

  • You may be told you’re part of an investigation and must take money out for police to analyse.

It was only minutes after Leonard had made the transfer that panic set in as he realised something didn't feel right.

He went back to the bank where staff informed him he'd been scammed.

They attempted to stop the transfer but only managed to save £500 of the £20,000.

Lloyds Bank is not returning the money.

Leonard says he's now struggling with his health and is working with the financial ombudsman to see if there is more he can do.

"At the end of the day all I want is my money back. If I could get my money back then nothing else matters."

Lloyds bank says it sympathises with Leonard and customers should always be wary of out the blue calls claiming to the bank. They say your bank will never ask you to move money to protect it.

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson: “We have a great deal of sympathy for Mr Adams as a victim of an impersonation scam.

“Customers should always be wary of out-of-the-blue calls claiming to be their bank. It’s important to remember your bank will never ask you to move money to protect it, under any circumstances.

"They will also never ask you to lie to make sure a payment goes ahead.

“If you’re ever in doubt, hang up and call back on a number you trust, not one you’ve been given over the phone. Don’t be rushed into anything, and if a message is claiming to be from someone you know, contact them in a different way, to confirm it is them.”

Leonard is trying to move on from what’s happened and hopes by sharing his story he can help others not make the same mistake he did.

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