- , Staff
Phil Haden takes the plaudits in the Mail on Sunday as he helps recover £30,300 lost to a scam.
After some favourable coverage in yesterday's Mail on Sunday, we asked star of the show, our very own Phil Haden, for his take on the story. Here's what he had to say...
Jean is an 72 year old widow and during lockdown we got to know her and must have mentioned I was an Independent Financial Adviser. A few weeks ago she knocked on my door as she had made an investment in October 2020, and a further investment in November 2020, as she was looking to try and get a better return as her interest rate on cash was so poor.
She came across a company that purported to have various investments available to provide guarantees as they were Government backed. She invested in with them but when she came to log on to her investment account, there was nothing showing. It was at that point she got concerned and subsequently realised that she had been scammed.
Having contacted her bank to try and resolve the issue, she was told that the money had been lost and it was her responsibility to have carried out the necessary checks before transferring any money. I spoke to Santander on her behalf and then also contacted various individuals I knew to try and see if there was anything that could be done. Unfortunately this was to no avail so my last option was to contact a journalist I knew from the Mail on Sunday. Cutting a very long story short, Jean has now received a full refund of over £30,000 from Santander and Santander are also reviewing their processes to try and protect their customers in future.
The problem we have at present is three fold, there are more scams out there, more of us are in a vulnerable state due to the covid situation and lockdown and people are looking for better returns due to dire interest rates. However, you need to remember that if it sounds to good to be true, it often is. Risk and return are correlated so the higher the risk taken, there is potential for higher returns but these are not normally guaranteed and the returns, or losses, are unknown. In Jean’s case, the investments were Gilts and corporate bonds and legitimate investments, however, the broker that was selling them was not and the money she transferred went directly to the scammers.
The company in question in Jean’s case was a clone, it is very difficult to work out what is real and what isn’t, unless it has already been reported to the FCA and someone then looks on the FCA website. The FCA register is very useful but is only a small part of a solution. Banks should have far more knowledge and experience to help stop their customers being scammed, however, the public also need to take care and some responsibility before making a decision.
I am so happy that Jean knocked on my door and have managed to get her money reimbursed and a change in processes. Hopefully it shows the benefit of dealing with a Chartered Financial Planner and someone that cares about people.
Thankfully Jean wasn't left empty-handed after the ordeal, and hopefully Santander reviewing their existing systems will reduce the number of people who fall victim to such scams in the future.
Well done, Phil - keep up the good work.