Dad 'felt empty inside' after losing £17k trying to change his family's life

Father-of-three, Geraint Davies, was conned out of £17K
Father-of-three, Geraint Davies, was conned out of £17K -Credit:Marco Richards PR

A dad paid a building firm £17,000 for his dream home - but it all turned out to be a huge scam.

Dad-of-three, Geraint Davies, 39, spent the money left to him by his late father on creating his dream family home but was scammed out of £17,000 by a builder he had found on an online trader's marketplace.

The builder, who has not been named, had come out to measure up the work in Mr Davies home with promises it would be completed within two months. But, instead of bricks and mortar, all he got was a catalogue of excuses.

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Geraint Davies, from Flint, North Wales, was left seriously out of pocket and "feeling empty inside" after realising he had been conned out of the money that he had inherited from his late dad. Mr Davies was reportedly quoted £24,000 for the work, with £17,000 to be paid up front as a deposit and to cover the cost of materials.

He said: "We wanted to do something we’d look back on and think, 'he’s [his dad's inheritance] really helped us out, even though he’s not here.' It was a nice gesture that we could use for something worthwhile and it was going to change our lives.

"Thinking about it now, I probably didn’t do as much homework as I should have done. But he turned up and had the company name on the side of the van, so you take people at face value.

"It was scary (transferring the money) but I was confident he was going to transform my house into this amazing property that we’ve always wanted."

That dream soon lay in tatters when a series of excuses left him growing increasingly concerned. Mr Davies claimed the workman was a no-show on day one, when he was due to erect scaffolding. Then the weather and being busy elsewhere were his excuses over the next few days.

Mr Davies house which he expected to be transformed into his dream home
Mr Davies house which he expected to be transformed into his dream home -Credit:Marco Richards PR

Geraint said: "He even sent a message saying his father had passed away. We started getting an uncomfortable feeling that something wasn’t right.

"We’d message him and say, ‘You’ve got a lot going on, give us the money back and we’ll come back around to it another time when we’re both free to get the work done’.

"He said there was a problem with his bank, that his account had been frozen. Then it went another few days, a few weeks, then there was silence - no messages back.

"(It felt) crippling. I felt empty inside. I’d thrown my inheritance, and what money we had to do anything memorable with, and just gave it to somebody to line his own pockets."

Mr Davies turned to CEL Solicitors, who have helped him with his loses by discovering his bank had not put the necessary safeguards in place, winning him his money back. CEL Solicitors’ CEO Jessica Hampson said: "We actually found that Mr Davies acted completely reasonably.

"He had a look at reviews, he spoke to them in person, it would make sense for him to give the deposit that he gave. The bank should have picked up on large amounts of money rapidly going into his account and out of his account to this new payee.

"It had no intervention whatsoever despite the obvious red flags of fraud. You trust the bank to protect your money and they do have a duty of care to the consumers.

Mr Davies says the legal victory has been a huge boost after the devastating blow of losing his cash. He added: “I felt light again, like I had a spring in my step. We were going to be able to do nice things again and not have to worry month to month.”

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