Helen Skelton felt 'really stupid' after losing life savings in phone scam

·3 min read
Helen Skelton said she manages to brush off trolls who criticise her clothing choices. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Helen Skelton has admitted she felt “so stupid” after losing her life savings in a scam. (PA)

Helen Skelton has admitted she felt “really stupid” after losing her life savings in a scam.

The TV presenter was cheated out of £70,000 when she fell victim to phone fraudsters in 2019.

Skelton, 39, recalled the experience when discussing a children's online gaming safety partnership with Lloyds Bank.

She said: "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."

She added on Instagram: “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.”

Read more: Helen Skelton melts hearts after baby Elsie reaches new milestone

Helen Skelton, pictured just after her marriage split, said she is keeping busy. (PA)
Skelton was the victim of a phone scam. (PA)

Skelton revealed the scam on ITV's Lorraine in 2019, saying: “I got phoned up by the bank, told something dodgy had gone on with my account.

She added: “The next week I had £70,000, all of my savings, had gone. All gone.”

Warning viewers not to fall into the same trap, Skelton revealed that all it took was a few questions over the phone for her entire life savings to disappear.

It was only afterwards, when Helen’s real bank contacted her she realised something was wrong.

Read more: Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live

The former Blue Peter star previously made a programme with ITV to raise awareness of similar frauds.

She said she wanted to clear up the misconception that it’s only “little old ladies… who don’t understand the internet” that were susceptible to scams.

“That’s a massively naïve assumption” she said.

“It’s happening to people and they’re too embarrassed to say that it’s happened.”

Skelton began her presenting career on Blue Peter in 2008, before going on to present BBC One’s Countryfile, a role she has held since 2014.

Last week she was confirmed as the new host of a Radio 5 Live Sunday, taking over from Laura Whitmore.

Skelton has teamed up with Lloyds Bank’s #FraudsNoGame campaign to help drive awareness of the SHIELD code which gives parents and kids the tools to spot and stop scammers.

Advice from ActionFraud to prevent scams

  • Remember, a genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your full PIN or password.

  • Don't assume a phone call is authentic just because someone knows your basic details, such as name and address.

  • Phone numbers and email addresses can be spoofed, so always contact the company directly via a known email or phone number (such as the one on the back of your bank card).

  • Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected text or email.

  • Every Report Matters. If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to ActionFraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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