A World War Two veteran was left unable to buy his weekly shopping after a five-YEAR fake medicine scam saw him tricked out of £10,000 of life savings.
The pensioner was sold thousands of pounds worth of bogus drugs by scammers and had his savings wiped out.
The 92-year-old – who saw active service in Northern Africa and Europe – was targeted by salesmen who sold him fake drugs for arthritis for nearly half a decade.
So far the cruel con artists have yet to be caught for the scam on the man – known only as Albert.
When Albert’s carer, Sarah Simons began to notice a change in his behaviour she discovered the fraud and stepped in to help.
Sarah, who looks after Albert one day a week with colleague Lauren-Jade Moffatt, said she could tell that something was wrong.
She said: “Albert is a friend and I just couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong at first.
“His telephone kept on ringing and he didn’t have enough money for his weekly shopping.
“He started hiding things from me and was becoming more worried. He’d have episodes when he was really down and expressed worries he was going to be overdrawn.”
Sarah realised Albert, from Sheffield, South Yorks., might have to scrap his respite care – a two-week break he looked forward to every Christmas.
Sarah felt she had to do something and asked Albert about his finances.
She said: “I felt I had to help and perhaps went further than I should have done by asking Albert if he had any financial worries.
“He explained he had letters from his bank and showed them to me. He had been charged £5,000 here, £2,000 there. I couldn’t believe it.
“He’s very trusting and I knew something wasn’t right.”
Albert, who worked for British Rail for 25 years, had been targeted over the phone by callers telling him they could cure his arthritis and the pensioner paid huge sums for bags full of worthless drugs and vitamins.
Albert remains philosophical and explained he has learned his lesson.
“I’ve learned a lesson – well, you do, don’t you? And nobody’s learned more lessons in life than me.”
Sarah contacted Sheffield Council’s Trading Standards team and they are investigating the incident.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for environment at Sheffield Council, said it is important that carers in the community are aware of the signs of scams and rogue trading.
He said: “We know that some of the most vulnerable people in Sheffield sadly won’t have face-to- face contact with many people on a daily basis, which is why it’s important that we use those living and working in our communities to look out for these people and be aware of the signs of scams and rogue trading.
“It is a sad fact that criminals prey on the most vulnerable.
“But once we are made aware of people being a victim of rogue traders or scams, we can use all the powers at our disposal to stop it happening again – and to bring these criminals to justice.
“The message is to friends, families and neighbours – you can help us to help your loved ones.
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