GMB: Adil Ray sympathises with guest over 'despicable' scam
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Kate Garraway and Adil Ray welcome Good Morning Britain viewer Anne to talk about how she was conned out of almost £500,000 by romance fraudsters who targeted her during lockdown not long after she lost her husband Graham. Adil was furious as Anne detailed how she fell for the scam on two separate occasions.
“When you are going through grief of a loved one, especially a husband, wife or partner in that sense, the grief is completely different,” Anne said.
“It turns your world completely upside down. It was easy in that sense for them to manipulate me in that way.
“With both of them, I never had a hint in my head that I was being scammed.”
“So when did you realise?” Kate asked. “Did you realise at the same time that you had been scammed twice or did you, when did you discover it because that must have been a horrifying moment too.”
Anne explained: “It was when I was asked to sell my house and my car around Christmas time last year that my brain was functioning correctly and it said, ‘Something’s not quite right here,’ and I didn’t answer the message.”
“Presumably, it added to the problem and the probability, that you were in lockdown and perhaps ere very lonely and it’s perhaps the type of thing you might have discussed with friends and they’d say, ‘Hang on a minute.’” Kate noted.
“But you’re in that isolated bubble craving some support in your life.”
Anne continued: “Yeah, when they contacted me is when I would have been talking with my husband Graham which was the evening or at weekends.
“During the day, you can act and behave as normal. When you’re out doing your shopping and you see people every day and people who know you ask how you’re doing so you put this brave face on that everything is okay and nothing’s wrong.”
A furious Adil raged: “Oh Anne I’m feeling angry for you right now. It’s absolutely despicable what has happened to you.”
Good Morning Britain viewers reached out to Anne on Twitter to share their support.
“A very very brave lady. My heart goes out to her on what has happened to her,” one viewer posted.
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“I hope something can be done to help her recover at least some of her funds. All power to her for bringing this out in the open and telling her story.”
Consumer expert Harry Wallop was also on the show and explained “lockdown has made it more difficult” to spot a scam.
However, he advised: “There are a few red flags. The sending of the money, the asking for the money, saying it’s an emergency and I’ll pay you back, that should be a big alarm bell.
“The other one is asking you to move the chat away from the original forum you met them in.
“Nearly always these start on dating sites and of course, Anne was on a hobby site, she had an element of trust there.
“But they asked to move this chat onto WhatsApp or text and that makes it a lot easier for the scammers to cover their tracks. Again that should be a warning sign.
“Then the third one is if they say ‘Oh don’t discuss me with your friends and family, let’s keep this a secret.’ They want lots of personal information from you. They tease out of you, your date of birth and family names.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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