ASK TONY: Bitcoin con price me £ 82,532 however HSBC refuses to refund me

Last summer, I was tricked into transferring my savings to criminals posing as a cryptocurrency broker.

My friends had told me that a lot of people invested in Bitcoin and were doing very well. So I found an online company that claimed to be offering Bitcoin and entered my details.

I was then contacted by a number of companies. One hired me to work with a broker named Alex who requested an initial registration fee of £ 250. This was blocked by my bank Lloyds as it was for an account in Eastern Europe.

Abandoned: A reader was scammed about their savings by cryptocurrency scammers – but HSBC declined to offer a refund

Alex advised me to open an account with HSBC. For the next several months she called me daily and advised me to invest more.

I made six payments from my Barclaycard totaling £ 9,500 and paid £ 82,532 from my HSBC account.

The scammer told me I had to hand over another £ 27,000 or I would lose all my money and asked my brother for a loan.

He grew suspicious and confirmed it was a scam involving Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority. Barclaycard refunded me but HSBC refuses.

TE, London.

This scam is a terrifying example of how vulnerable people can be exploited by cruel criminals who always seem to be one step ahead of banks.

I have spoken extensively with your family about your experience. You told me that you are in your 70s and your memory is not as good as it used to be.

You have been bombarded with calls encouraging you to invest more in what you did with the promise of solid returns.

The final £ 27,000 request was “Unlock the Blockchain” a term you did not understand but which you felt was necessary to protect your investment.

Barclaycard refunded the £ 9,500 without question, but it took HSBC more than four months to agree to reimburse the full £ 82,532.

Initially, the bank declined because they contacted you several times to check that you knew where the payments were going.

Then it only offered you £ 8,000. I argued that you were completely preoccupied with the crypto criminals believing you were making solid investments.

I have repeatedly requested transcripts of calls claiming to have verified payments with you, but they were never sent to me.

It should have been up to HSBC to warn you about such scams based on what they knew about how scammers work.

Says a spokesperson, “We are very careful to consider personal circumstances in such cases, including factors that may influence the decision-making process at that point in time.

“Although we are satisfied that we have acted correctly with regard to the information we had at that point in the light of new information and as a token of goodwill, we have reimbursed Mr E. for the funds lost.”

You have YOUR word

Money mail every week gets hundreds of you Letters and emails over our stories. Here are some from our investigation into the costly battle led over women Retirement age:

The retirement age was sloppily raised. I never received a notification – and I worked for the Department of Labor and Pensions. I didn’t have time to change my plans.

EH, Nottingham.

If it cost the government £ 200 billion to repay the women, that would never happen.

The fairest thing would have been to gradually raise the retirement age so that women only had to wait a few months, not years.

IR, Southampton.

I am a 62 year old woman and would have advocated equalizing the retirement age with around 63 years.

From today’s perspective, I had to start drawing the personal pension that I’ve been paying into since my late twenties.

TC, Shropshire.

Equality works both ways. If the women wanted their retirement age to remain at 60, a man of the same age should be able to claim.

I can’t imagine how expensive it would be to backdate that.

JF, via email.

I followed both the Backto60 and WASPI campaigns with great interest.

I have my doubts about Backto60 and personally believe that WASPI is more likely to be successful.

PM, Bedfordshire.

These women would always lose this fight. They would never get all of the money that was paid to them.

The rise in the retirement age was inevitable.

SS, Southend.

I am a 60 year old man who started working when I was 16. I always felt that I would retire at 65, but I won’t be able to claim my state pension until 66.

BY, Southampton.

My son is in HMP Usk and asked me to buy a book for him – Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to the Joy of Sadhguru. He said it could only be bought through water stones under prison rules.

I ordered it online and learned that Royal Mail tried to deliver the package but it was refused. The prison checked the CCTV footage and no package was delivered.

I tried contacting Waterstones but the phones are idle and emailing did not work. I wrote to the head office and received no answer. The book was £ 19.99, which is a lot of money for me as an 80-year-old.

HK, Gloucestershire.

Well-known companies have used the pandemic as an excuse for poor customer service – and it’s no different. According to Waterstones, the customer care lines are closed as the offices have not yet fully reopened.

It’s unclear why employees can’t work from home like other customer service teams do.

The bookstore says it takes longer than normal to respond to inquiries due to the volume of online orders.

However, it was agreed to send a new order at no extra charge. The team will contact you.

To the point

After buying £ 2,000 worth of £ 2,000 worth of Income Bonds from NS & I on May 19th, I received an email stating that I would receive a confirmation package with other information, but I did not receive it.

TF, North Yorkshire.

When you opened the account, you set up a password that you can use to access a portal. There the details were sent. NS&I says you couldn’t remember the password so it was reset.


My wife died in May and I tried to move into her property. I sent Halifax proof of her ID and a copy of her death certificate. Why is it asking me for ID again?

DP, Bristol.

It sounds like you’ve been mistakenly told that Halifax has everything it needs. After I contacted you, the final documents were retrieved from you. The bank has apologized for the poor service and will arrange for the compensation to be paid once the discount has been paid.



Currys gave me a £ 40 gift card after my hob was written off and I claimed it through his maintenance plan. I tried using it in a store last month but was told it has expired.

DF, Leeds.

The two-year period for using the gift card is specified in the general terms and conditions.

However, Currys apologized for not realizing this at the time. She issued you a new £ 80 card as a token of goodwill.


My airline canceled my outbound flight for which I want to request a refund, but I want to keep my return flight.

Can I request a refund for the former without canceling the latter?

MP, Altrincham, Gtr Manchester.

You can, but if both routes are on the same booking reference number you will need to call the airline as it may not be possible to claim a refund using the online forms.

I removed the HomeServe boiler cover in December 2010, two years after I installed a device. I’ve renewed every year and paid £ 405.72 for this year’s December premium.

In March I had a problem with the boiler and successfully claimed to have a part replaced. However, just a few months later, another error occurred and I called HomeServe again.

The engineer said he had to go to pick up another part but never came back. He called the next day and said the boiler was beyond repair.

My policy was canceled and I only received £ 200. A new boiler would cost at least £ 1,000. So how can this be fair?

IW, Cheshire.

Kettles don’t last forever. Most will break down when they’re between ten and 15 years old, so 12 years isn’t a bad innings.

They say that HomeServe’s terms and conditions did not make it clear what “beyond economic repair” (BER) meant.

I’ve looked at the online terms that say a boiler is BER when the total cost of the parts needed to repair exceeds 85 percent of the retail cost of the boiler or similar make and model.

HomeServe would have replaced the kettle if it was less than seven years old, but your kettle was almost twice that old. The £ 200 for a new boiler is what you are entitled to under the terms and conditions.

After I reached out to the company, they reimbursed you for the months of insurance you are no longer eligible – an additional £ 202.86 – as a gesture of goodwill since you were a long-time customer.

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