Helen Skelton admitted she feels ‘really stupid’ after falling for an internet banking scam in 2019.
The Countryfile presenter, 38, lost £70,000 of her life savings after answering a few questions during a ‘dodgy’ phone call from what she believed was her bank.
The star recalled the experience as she partnered up with Lloyds Bank to discuss her fears for her children’s online safety.
Candid: Helen Skelton admitted she feels ‘really stupid’ after falling for an internet banking scam in 2019
Talking about her son, Helen said: ‘The notion of him chatting to his mates online scares me a bit
‘I don’t know that world and we’ve all heard plenty of things that could go wrong.’
She added: ‘I mean, come on – even as adults it is so easy to fall victim to a fraudster. I’ve done it – it has happened to me. It makes you feel really stupid. But it has happened to so many people who aren’t stupid.’
Helen then explained how falling victim to a scammer is ‘easily done’ as everyone spends a lot of their lives online.
Helen penned: ‘I personally know the pain of being defrauded, so it is incredibly important to me that my children are equipped to spot a scam, even in the seemingly harmless environment of a video game.’
Scary: The Countryfile presenter, 38, lost £70k of her life savings after answering a few questions during a ‘dodgy’ phone call from what she believed was her bank
Opening up: The star recalled the experience as she partnered up with Lloyds Bank to discuss her fears for her children’s online safety
The TV and radio presenter, who is mother to sons Ernie and Louis and daughter Elsie, seven months, with her ex husband, England rugby league player Richie Myler, previously revealed was looking after her children when she received a ‘dodgy’ phone call from what she believed was her bank.
During an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine three years ago, Helen revealed the scary incident.
She said: ‘I got phoned up by the bank, told something dodgy had been going on with my account. A week later, £70,000 had gone. All gone. And it was just a few questions over the phone.’
The former Blue Peter presenter added: ‘I had one kid up a tree, one wrestling the dog, another dog throwing up the kids’ birthday cake, then they phoned me from the bank and said, ‘Oh, something has gone on.’
‘You don’t question your bank.’
Helen explained how the scam happens ‘every day of the week’ to unsuspecting members of the public.
She added to the host: ‘We’re not talking about little old ladies who are victims who don’t understand the internet, that’s a massively naive assumption.
‘It’s happening to people and they’re too embarrassed to say that it’s happened.’
Detailing how she broke down after the news, Helen added: ‘I cried buckets when I realised.
‘That money was meant to be for my children’s future. I was thinking of my kids, and about how I would have to work even more and not see them to try to get it back.
‘But it wasn’t just about money. I felt sick when I realised that I’d been speaking to the bloke robbing me. It felt like a total violation.’
Shocking: Helen revealed in 2019 that she was scammed out of a staggering £70,000 after she answered a fake phone call she thought had come from her bank
The cold-call phone scam typically involves fraudsters deceiving people into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff or a representative of another trusted company or agency such as a Government department.
The fraudsters convince the victims that they have been a victim of fraud and will ask for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their accounts.
Another scam involves the fraudster – posing as a police officer or a member of bank staff – saying that there has been a fraudulent payment on the victim’s card and it needs to be replaced.
They say they will send a courier to collect the card and arrange for a new one. They then have the victim’s card, name and home address.
Speaking out: Helen explained that she lost her savings through the phone scam, and insisted viewers are ‘naive’ to think they won’t fall for such a ploy
Helen announced earlier this year she had split from her rugby player partner, after eight years of marriage.
It was recently revealed Richie has begun a new relationship with the daughter of the multi-millionaire President of the Leeds Rhinos club he plays for.
Helen is said to feel ‘bewildered’ by the breakdown of her marriage to Richie whose new partner is Stephanie Thirkill, 32.
Separated: Helen split from husband Richie, 31, in April after eight years of marriage (pictured in February)
A source close to the couple told MailOnline: ‘Helen is absolutely devastated. Now she is contemplating life without him while he has moved on with his new partner.’
‘Richie is insisting there was no crossover, that he began the romance with Stephanie after their marriage collapsed, but Helen feels let down. They are still married, and their baby is literally four months old.
‘She thought their marriage was safe and secure and is totally shocked by what’s happened.’
Helen recently reflected on having a ‘rough time’ after the breakdown of her marriage, where she admitted her life is currently ‘chaos’.
The presenter appeared on Lorraine earlier this month where she revealed her mother Janet is currently helping her out with her and Richie’s three children.
Interview: Helen recently reflected on having a ‘rough time’ after the breakdown of her marriage, where she admitted her life is currently ‘chaos’
Lorraine began the interview by saying: ‘Helen, it’s so good to see you. You’ve had a bit of a rough time, I know. But the best way to get over stuff is to just get out there again – out there working.’
Helen responded: ‘I think anybody in my position would say the same,’ as her dogs began to bark in the background. ‘I’ve got three small children and a very loud dog as you can hear.’
Lorraine replied: ‘It’s fine. Kids and dogs and all that, your life is like that, it really is. And you’re used to the chaos! So you’re my kind of woman, you put on a brave face and you’re back out doing the series-‘
In a further blow to Helen, her estranged husband shared a loved-up snap with his new girlfriend Stephanie on Monday as they enjoyed a romantic mini-break in Cornwall.
Moved on: In a further blow to Helen, her estranged husband shared a loved-up snap with his new girlfriend Stephanie on Monday as they enjoyed a romantic mini-break in Cornwall
Love: In his latest post, Richie revealed the duo had been enjoying a romantic getaway to Cornwall as he had never visited the seaside resort, noting it was ‘worth a 32 year wait’
After keeping his new romance relatively low-key in the weeks that followed, Richie went Instagram official with his new love earlier this month.
In his latest post, Richie revealed the duo had been enjoying a romantic getaway to Cornwall as he had never visited the seaside resort, noting it was ‘worth a 32 year wait’.
The Leeds Rhinos fullback looked smitten as he shared a snap cuddling Stephanie – who is the daughter of his rugby team president – as well as a clip of him swimming in the sea and a stunning snap of the landscape.
Making it official: The posts come two weeks after Richie made his relationship with Stephanie Instagram official when they attended Wimbledon together
Sad: Helen announced she and Richie’s split via Instagram – admitting that he has ‘left the family home’
Stephanie was quick to comment, penning: ‘Thanks for the best weekend! LOVE YOU ❤️’
Former Blue Peter star Helen confirmed their breakup on Instagram, writing: ‘Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple.
‘He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co-parent our small children.’
The rise of ‘vishing’ and how to protect yourself if you’re targeted by a scammer
How to protect yourself from phone call scams
Keeping ahead of the scammers may seem like an impossible task, but Age UK has a number of tips that can help keep you safe if you receive an unwelcome call.
1. Don’t reveal personal details. This includes any bank details or your pin number.
2. Hang up. If you’re feeling threatened or think someone is being aggressive, put down the phone.
3. Ring the organisation. If the person is who they say they are you can always ring the company or bank and check.
4. Don’t be hurried. Experienced scammers will try and get you to do things quickly by talking about a time-limited offer.
Source: Age UK
The rise of fraud in the UK and ‘vishing’ in the UK
According to figures released in September 2018, customers are losing up to £1million a day in bank transfer scams.
Figures revealed the scale of the fraud epidemic. In the first six months of the year £145million went missing – almost £1million a day and 50 per cent more than in the same period of 2017.
The figures show for the first time the amount of money lost to different types of scams. Around a quarter of the total losses – £36.6million – was a result of impersonation fraud. This is where crooks pose as companies people trust such as their bank, solicitor, telecoms provider, HMRC or the police. Victims are then convinced to transfer their money into another account under the guise of keeping it safe. They almost never see it again.
Others are tricked into making payments to criminals posing as conveyancing solicitors, builders and other tradespeople.
Banks logged 34,128 cases of push payment fraud in the year to July – a rate of almost 200 a day.
The ruses used by the fraudsters can take a number of guises to try and get you to part with your money.
One of the most common methods is known as ‘vishing’ which is a telephone scam that involves someone impersonating an individual from a bank or other organisation to try and procure your personal information for private gain.
A method used frequently this year has been criminals posing as HMRC officials to select victims from the BT online phone directory and threaten them with jail unless they pay non-existent debts.
HMRC received 60,000 reports of landline repayment fraud cases in the six months to January – 360 per cent up on the previous half-year. However, not all the victims will have come forward.
More than one in ten frauds reported in the UK involves Indian call centres and over half originate abroad, according to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber reporting centre.
Originally posted 2022-07-29 13:06:44.