Helen Skelton: How I got scammed out of £70,000

Date: Thursday 12th September 2019

EDEN television personality Helen Skelton will tell viewers of ITV's current affairs series Tonight how she was scammed out of £70,000 after falling victim to hoaxers.

In May this year, Helen, aged 36, from Kirkby Thore, received an email. It appeared to be from TV Licensing, and said that it was her "last day to remain licensed", but that her direct debit had bounced.

It instructed her to pay an overdue balance of £11.95. Little did Helen know — when she clicked to pay that small fee, it would actually begin a chain of events which would allow criminals to steal an astonishing £70,000 from her bank account.

Helen was the victim of an impersonation scam — criminals had sent a fake TV Licensing email to get hold of her bank details, then followed it up with a call purporting to be a representative of her bank. Through this call, they were able to get enough information from Helen to bypass her banking security.

But she's not alone, since April 2018, Action Fraud has had over 900 reports of people falling victim to this particular TV Licence scam — and they've lost around £800,000.

Tonight's ITV programme — Fraud: The Public Threat — which is to be broadcast at 7-30pm, features people who have all been targeted by fraudsters.