Eamonn Holmes has opened up about the time he was scammed out of £60,000, by well-known Belfast conman Jay Cartmill.
The 59-year-old presenter, speaking to The Sun, revealed that the incident took place in 2014, and saw the criminal hack his bank account to make thousands of pounds worth of purchases.
He shared that he was first alerted to the problem when his bank called him to ask about some big purchases, including a fireplace worth £25,000.Eamonn revealed that the whole experience left him feeling "very vulnerable."
"The effect it has on you is that it makes you suspicious of everyone and everything and you feel very, very vulnerable.", he said.
Popular broadcaster Eamonn also shared that the conman used his name to book and pay for lavish hotel stays around the world.
Eamonn revealed that he initially thought the hacking had taken place on holiday in Dubai. He said, "We were in Dubai at a Bedouin experience.
"And the guy said to me, 'I can't get a signal on the machine, I have to go to the top of that sand dune to get a signal'. And I thought, 'That's where it happened'. But it didn't happen there."
Eamonn then went on to say he still doesn't know where his information was stolen.
Was Eamonn's conman prosecuted?
Eamonn recounted that the judge ruled that it was a "victimless crime", due to Eamonn's wealth.
Eamonn explained, "It was the most ridiculous situation but the scandalous thing is that when it went to court the judge said it was a victimless crime because they will say the bank will reimburse me and I could afford it."
As a result, the conman did not serve any prison time for his crime - despite having done something similar to Irish radio presenter Stephen Nolan, and was instead handed a two-year suspended sentence.
If you are at all worried about becoming victim to a similar kind of scam, you can learn more about how to protect yourself on the Citizens Advice website here (opens in new tab).
The revelation comes as Eamonn and wife Ruth Langsford join together to host a second series of their Channel 5 show, Do The Right Thing, which sees the pair uncover social injustices, and provide helpful consumer advice for viewers.
Their show will return to TV screens on Sunday night at 9pm.
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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