From tiny tweets to national TV
An independent financial adviser from Leyland who turned an occasional tweet into a personal crusade is to feature in a documentary on national television.Greg Heath, a director with Derbyshire Booth Financial Management, grew concerned about the amount of fraudulent pension switching enquiries he was receiving and posted his views on Twitter.
The ever vigilant adviser had seen it grow from a steady trickle to a stream of spurious canvassing calls. Consequently, he decided enough was enough.Greg explained: “They were all a complete rip-off, with the callers purporting to be a MAS-approved financial advisers and making completely unfounded promises about how they could give the pension holder a better performing fund by transferring it elsewhere.
“They do it so convincingly and it is very easy to fall for. I posted a tweet advising people in our local area not to fall for such dangerous claims and if they were in doubt, to contact me.”One of Greg’s ‘followers’ on Twitter is the deputy money editor for the Sunday Times Money section. He wrote about his concerns and a week later received a mention on the Sunday Times and since then, it’s snowballed.
Money Marketing did an exclusive interview with him and then came a call from the investigative team at Channel 4’s Dispatches.Within days, he was on his way to their London studios to be grilled by renowned reporter, Michael Burke.
Greg commented: “I told him I was from a small, provincial town in the North West and was inundated by such people pestering me. He was amazed at how widespread it was and the industrial scale that these companies operate on. What was scheduled as a 30-minute interview ended-up taking us two-and-a-half hours to conclude.”The good news is, Greg is confident that such national media interest will alert a great many people to the scam. He also admits to finding the experience of being in the media spotlight and meeting a top TV personality a most enjoyable one.
“Michael was a consummate professional and I was so in awe that I completely forgot to even take a quick souvenir photograph,” he laughed.“But what matters is the level of exposure the issue will get as a result . Hopefully it will help stop a lot of people losing serious amounts of their hard-earned money.” The programme will be the first in the new series of Dispatches, to be broadcast in October.