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Retiree left in debt for five years after losing £20,000 | Personal Finance | Finance

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Retiree Gary Edmunds, 71, invested an enormous chunk of his life savings into what looked like a legitimate Bitcoin scheme. He didn’t realise that the people behind it weren’t bankers but scammers – and transferred over £20,000 to them.

Gary cares for his partner Brenda who has Alzheimer’s. He desired to buy them a campervan to provide him more time along with her, with the vehicle serving asa space where he could each take care of her and have a vacation.

Gary did some research into the investment market, and was a part of a web-based community for automobile enthusiasts. It was here that a person messaged him, recommending some investment platforms, claiming he had made huge sums.

Intrigued by the person’s returns, Gary did his due diligence and checked the companies address and registration numbers of the corporate the person sent. He said it seemed “completely legitimate”.

Gary converted pound sterling into Bitcoin after which transferred the Bitcoin electronically to the corporate.

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“The figures rolled in nicely, they looked lovely,” he said.

Gary’s Bitcoin investment appeared to be growing in value and looked legitimate.

He had initially invested around £13,000, and by the tip of the 12 months, he was told it had grown to about £60,000.

He withdrew some money, around £1,000, and it arrived in his account 24 hours later.

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“I had no worry in any respect,” he said.

As he felt there was no reason for him to fret, he let the remaining of his money proceed to grow with the business.

By his birthday the next 12 months, it was claimed the investment had grown to almost £100,000, which Gary desired to withdraw. Nevertheless to money out the total amount, the corporate said there was a fee.

Gary was told he needed to pay a 20 percent commission fee – meaning he needed to pay around £20,000 to take his money out.

Gary recalled pondering: “What on earth is going on? It’s been three weeks.”

“It had been 15 working days and I had seen nothing and alarm bells rang so I got in contact with Motion Fraud.

“It seems most certainly that I is not going to have the opportunity to have access to get any of it back.

“It’s loads of money and unfortunately I now have debts for the subsequent five years.

“The little spark I used to be looking forward to brightening up my life and make things a bit easier, have a vacation again, really has been totally ripped from me.

“What the subsequent five years can be like, I just don’t know.”

Morning Live continues tomorrow at 9:15am on BBC One.

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