Nurse scammed out of her £45 thousand pension
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Sadly, scammers are on the prowl, looking for their next victim, and are hunting for people who may have let their guard down. Pauline Padden, a 58-year old NHS nurse, shared her story of how she sadly fell victim to a scam when appearing on ITV’s This Morning.
Back in 2013, Ms Padden was experiencing a family challenge as her mother was dying in hospital.
Understandably concerned, she was eager to be by her mother’s side, but because of her work in the NHS nurse’s bank, if she didn’t work she did not get paid.
It was when travelling home from the hospital one evening that Ms Padden received a text message relating to pensions.
The correspondence asked Ms Padden if she had a pension which was not performing well, and promised better returns and gifts for moving them.
Keen to secure a better financial future for herself, particularly at such an uncertain time, Ms Padden responded and set the pension transfer into motion.
She said: “They were really keen and came across extremely professional. They asked me if I could release my two pensions which were frozen at the time, as I wasn’t paying into them.”
All communication took place via the phone, and after making her own enquiries, Ms Padden got her pensions released and then transferred over to the organisation she was dealing with.
It was at this point she received her promised “gift”, claimed to be a present from those she was investing in – worth £2,500.
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After a subsequent gift of £1,900, Ms Padden was convinced the firm was keeping up their end of the bargain, and that everything was going smoothly.
Sadly, Ms Padden’s mother then died, and she was caught up in a whirlwind of grief which kept her occupied.
She only began to become suspicious when she had not heard any updates about her pension in a while.
The penny dropped when she was contacted by the Pensions Regulator, who after asking her about her investments, told her she had been scammed.
Ms Padden said: “I was still up the wall after my mum passed. I thought ‘Oh my God’. I couldn’t do anything. It was gone.”
In total, the NHS nurse ended up losing £45,000 in two pensions to the cruel scammers.
It was later found the supposed “gifts” she had received, were in fact money out of her own pension.
Fortunately, there was a conviction for two individuals involved in the cruel scam which impacted 245 victims.
Recounting her experience, Ms Padden said: “If I hadn’t have been in the predicament I was in, I wouldn’t have moved my pension – I would have had no need to.
“But I was in a situation where I needed to provide for my family. It felt genuine when they sent me the gift.
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“But then it obviously played out in the way it did.”
She is now working with the Pensions Regulator to see if she can get her money back, but her plans for retirement are forever changed.
Ms Padden added: “I have got my NHS pension which I am paying into now, but it is nowhere near what I’d like it to be.
“I’m 58 now, I’d like to retire sooner but it’s just not possible.
“Our state pension doesn’t kick in until about 67, and it could be much later by the time I come to retire.”
She concluded by urging people to think carefully before taking action on their pension, and to do their research.
Ms Padden also directed Britons towards seeking independent financial advise for an important second opinion.
This Morning returns on ITV, weekdays from 10am.
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