ASK TONY: I was hooked out of £ 12,500 by a Bitcoin boiler room scam

You must have enough letters about older people being cheated out of their money by shysters.

Unfortunately, I’m a stupid woman who has been hooked out of £ 12,500. The scam, which started with a phone call, only came to light when I asked my husband for more money.

The first £ 1,000 was taken from a joint account. Next, I was told that it would be easier if the money came from my only account. What a fool I was!

I have been in contact with Nationwide, but he does not seem able to do anything. Can you help?

CS, East Sussex.

Bitcoin Bonds: A reader lost £ 12,500 after being cheated while handing over cash for counterfeit crypto-currency investments

Bitcoin Bonds: A reader lost £ 12,500 after being cheated while handing over cash for counterfeit crypto-currency investments

Tony Hazell’s answers: When I read a letter like yours, my first, rather priceless, thought is that I hope the culprit slips on the stairs and suffers a painful, life-changing injury – because that’s what they’re trying to put on others every time they get up. the phone.

Fraudsters not only steal someone’s money, but can also shatter their confidence and self-esteem. The caller claimed he was a broker and urged you to invest in bitcoin. They set up a trading account in your name – with your authority.

You used your online banking facilities to instruct Nationwide to transfer £ 12,500 to a cryptocurrency exchange, in two separate payments. This exchange is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

You chose ‘item or activity’ as the reason for the transfer, rather than ‘investment’. If you had chosen ‘investment’, you would have received a more appropriate warning that might have prompted you to stop.

The fraudster sent the money to a bank in Latvia, then was moved to another cryptocurrency exchange operating in China.

When the scammers came for a third share of money, you talked to your husband who persuaded you to stop. Despite all attempts, Nationwide was not able to recover your money.

You suffered a brain tumor five years ago that has affected your decision-making abilities and makes you forgetful. Nationwide says that while it took into account your vulnerability, this was not done in the early stages.

He says if he had done this, he might have been able to apply to the financial industry’s ‘no fault’ fund. However, this option is no longer available as the initial investigation has been completed.

Taking all this into account, Nationwide has given you an early Christmas present by repaying all your money as a token of goodwill.

A spokeswoman says: ‘We sympathize with the member, who went through what was a very worrying time.

‘Although we processed the payments correctly in accordance with her instructions, her potential vulnerability means we could have made a claim under the’ no fault ‘fund of the Contingency Repayment Model.

We would encourage people to be wary of being linked out of the blue with an investment opportunity. ‘

If I could persuade everyone to make one New Year’s resolution, politely telling all cold callers to get stuffed.

A refund for a canceled cruise at sea is lost

I am due a refund of a deposit of £ 300 paid in February for a voyage to Iceland. The cruise company South Quay Travel & Leisure, trading as Cruise & Maritime Voyages, was handed over to administrators on July 20.

ABTA contacted me and provided a claim number. I have sent the requested information and documentation but it seems to have hit a brick wall – and I can’t get through to ABTA. I am still referred to ‘frequently asked questions’.

RG, Wimborne, Dorset.

Tony Hazell’s answers: Ah, yes. Frequently asked questions, which never seem to answer our main question: where is my money?

ABTA apologizes for the time taken to deal with your request. It says it deals with about 30,000 claims due to the number of company failures. As a result, claims take longer to process than normal.

He has sent you £ 100, which represents the amount your travel agent paid for Cruises and Cruises. The balance of £ 200 is owed by your travel agent, so you should contact him to ask why he is still holding your money.

You have YOUR say

Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some in response to our article about a former newspaper editor’s fight with a debt collector:

Parking companies are always a nightmare. I was threatened with bailiffs after I had been parked in motorway services for ten hours.

I had stopped there on the way to and from work, as I have always done.

LK, Bristol.

Bailiffs use fear tactics and innocent people can be scared if they show up without warning. If you’re not comfortable, make a scene and call 999 if you feel physically threatened.

TS, Suffolk.

Debt collection agencies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. If they do not abide by the rules, their license may be taken away.

FT, via email.

I was persecuted for three years by an auction site for a £ 50 non-debt debt.

Someone had put my details into the website and was sending in the debt collectors. Eventually, the case was dropped.

WN, Lake District.

My daughter had a similar experience with an aggressive bailiff. The car that had been fined last year was registered to her, but at our old address – we had moved 15 years ago.

BT, West Sussex.

One bailiff barked into my house, using his foot to block the door. The debt was obviously not for me to pay, but I received no apology from the company.

TT, Manchester.

The problem is that finding a phone number for these companies can be difficult, and they often do not answer emails. People like me pay up because it’s not worth the trouble.

SP, Southampton, Hants.

Can’t access my private pension

I am a 64-year-old woman who has been living on about £ 500-a-month employment and support allowance for the past four years.

I’ve had to subsidize this with my savings, but I have nothing left anymore. In April this year, I asked a financial adviser to help me draw down £ 5,000 from Aviva’s private pension.

Since then, I have been using my credit card to keep me going, as I am confident that we will receive this money.

I recently spent a long afternoon talking to four or five people at Aviva. They all told me different things, most of which I didn’t understand.

It emerged that they were explaining that my financial adviser had not provided Aviva with the correct information.

My adviser has assured me that everything is above that. He says Aviva is a pig’s feet.

BL, Craigavon, Co. Dublin. Armagh.

Tony Hazell’s answers: Aviva says the problem lies with the information sent by your financial adviser.

He contacted you and your adviser after I told him of your difficulties. He explained what details were needed to release your tax-free cash.

You tell me the money arrived lately, and that must have been a big relief.

Straight to the point

My recently deceased husband had a large collection of pre-decimal coins. Are they worth anything?

MM, via email.

Dealer Chris Perkins, who runs, says that coins in normal condition dated up to 1946 are the only ones that will be worthwhile.

That’s because those before 1920 were 92.5 percent sterling silver, and those dated 1920 to 1946 are 50 percent silver. After this date, coins are usually only worth their face.


My place in an Ironman triathlon has been rolled over to next year after the September race was canceled.

But I couldn’t compete then as I had other events planned for that time. It cost about £ 250 to enter and I feel the company is blocking me.

PJ, via email

It took more than a month for the organizers to respond to my inquiries, but they have now agreed to repay you.


My Payday account, to pay for the Dartford Crossing, was closed because I had not used it for 12 months. What happened to my remaining balance?

MP, by email.

Highways England says you should have received an email giving you 90 days to recover your balance.

If you did not respond, any excess cash will have been paid to the Department for Transport.


Vodafone is owed £ 60 after it charged me for three months following the cancellation of my broadband contract.

I have spent seven hours on the phone chasing this but I have nowhere.

JP, Blackpool, Lancs.

The telecommunications giant had resolved this by the time I got in touch, but explained that one of its customer advisers had mistakenly identified the credit as paid.

You have received a refund and Vodafone has also offered to pay for a month of your new contract as a goodwill gesture.

  • We love to hear from our loyal readers, so please ask us to write to us by email where possible during this challenging time, as letters sent to our postal address will not be picked up as regularly as usual. You can write to: asktony @ or, if you prefer, Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT – include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the criminal organization authorizing them to speak to Tony Hazell. Sorry we can’t reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. The Daily Mail can accept no legal responsibility for answers given.

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