Gloria Hunniford has spoken out after being having £120,000 taken out of her bank by a lookalike, saying she feels “violated”.The 76-year-old Loose Women panelist’s account was emptied just days after the impostor arrived at a Santander branch with her “daughter” and “grandson” and claimed to be the star. Personal banker Aysha Davis, 28, said the woman told her she had “a few bob” in there and had come to add the teenager as a signatory because she had been ill.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Ms Hunniford said: “If my husband or one of my two sons went into my bank and said they wanted to be a co-signatory, I’d expect very thorough checks. But in this case somebody was able to go to the bank with a copy of a driving licence or something. I didn’t understand it from the off. I felt completely violated. These were my savings. You expect your money to be safe in a bank but it is not.”
Ms Hunniford said banks need to step up their security with staff and systems and there was “no way” she could have foreseen what would happen. She added it was “such a shock” and she always thought her savings were safe.
The lookalike was said to be so unconvincing that Davis was initially believed to be part of the swindle, though managed to convince the jury she genuinely didn’t know who Gloria was. Police are still hunting for the Hunniford lookalike and her daughter, while stand-in grandson Alan Dowie, 18, faces jail.