My husband and I have lost our life savings to a very professional investment scammer. We both received lump sums on retirement from the fire service and the police which we normally invest in bonds, changing every year. This year, when we were comparing interest rates, a relative recommended Vanguard. We Googled the website, emailed for information, and received a prompt response which included a brochure detailing a fixed-interest high-yield bond at 2.12%.
It stated that the company was the Which? recommended provider for investment platforms in 2019/20. The company number and address provided on all the documents were the same as those registered for Vanguard at Companies House. We decided to invest £20,000 each, and were asked to complete anti-money laundering forms and ID checks. We were appointed a named asset manager, sent bond certificates, and given a sign-in to our online portals with the FTSE running on screen where we could view our investments.
After discussions with our asset manager, we both invested a further £205,000. I’d asked about financial protection and been reassured, in a detailed letter, about the FSCS and first charge legal protection.
We discovered we’d been scammed when my husband’s most recent payment failed to appear on our online portal. He called our asset manager, who put the transaction up immediately. This seemed odd, so I Googled Vanguard’s customer service, and was told, on calling, that they had no record of us. We immediately…