Woman loses £40,000 after falling for fake Martin Lewis scam

Martin Lewis has said he will never do adverts or promote investments (Picture: REX/ITV)

A woman who says she was ‘groomed’ by scammers believed their cryptocurrency scheme was backed by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.

Lisa, who is using a false name, says she first saw an advert for the scam on Facebook – which included a picture of Martin’s face to lure people in.

But in reality he has nothing to do with the scheme and Lisa ended up losing £40,000 to the scammers, the Mirror reports.

At first she invested £200 into Bitcoin, but the scammers then phoned her daily over the next two months.

Lisa was told they were business partners and she believed them, as she thought the scheme was a ‘Martin Lewis, genuine thing’.

However during the course of those two months the scammers took out 11 loans in Lisa’s name.

At one point £55,000 appeared in her account, and the scammers demanded she send the money to them.

Lisa said: ‘I asked well where has it come from? I got a little bit angry, he became abusive and he said if I didn’t comply then I would lose all the money I’d made.

The scammers used Martin’s face in the advert (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Lisa started by investing £200 in Bitcoin but the scammers soon took over (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

‘I’ve felt incredibly stupid and ashamed. I still don’t answer my phone to unknown numbers.

‘I live in fear. They have my address. They have all my contact details.

‘I’ve had to change all my passwords and my bank details because I don’t know what they’re capable of.’

Since realising the scheme was a scam, Lisa has received support from Citizens Advice, the Trading Standards Agency, and the police.

She’s now come to an agreement on the minimum amount she can pay back to the loan companies – as she’s currently repaying more than £1,000 a month for the next five years.

Janet Quinn, the scams lead officer for Heart of the South West Trading Standards, said online cryptocurrency fraud is on the rise.

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She added: ‘Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, any type of investment scam is big at the moment.

‘People are trying to find a way to make quick or easy money because of the cost of living crisis.’

Martin Lewis said he is aware of scammers using his image to target victims.

Alongside his Money Saving Expert team he has repeatedly said he has never and will never do adverts, or promote investments.

A Money Saving Expert spokesperson said: ‘Anything you see suggesting otherwise is fraudulent and a scam.

‘If you see the post online, don’t engage with it, as it may be trying to trick you into handing over information. Instead, report it so it can be taken down.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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