NHS Couple Conned After Falling Victim To £14,000 Scam When Buying Dream Motorhome

A couple who both works for the NHS has been scammed after purchasing a £14,000 motorhome off eBay; they’ve been left with their dreams shattered after trying to do something lovely for their family. 

Paul Harding-Hubbard and wife Emma, from Lincoln, had been longing to buy a motorhome for years so that they could treasure their spare time with their three children Marley, Maxwell and Maisie.

After years of dreaming about it, the couple decided to take the plunge and remortgaged their home so that they could get the £14,000 they’d need to purchase a motorhome.

The couple then scoured eBay and fell in love with a motorhome being advertised as for sale in Downham Market in Norfolk.

Paul, a paramedic for EMAS for 30 years, told Lincolnshire Live: “We have both been in the services for a long time and we have always had this thing that we would like to get a motorhome and just have some quality time with the kids when we can.

“I am 51 now so we wanted to spend the last 10 quality years of my life having some quality time with the kids and making memories.

“The only way to get that kind of money was to remortgage the house.

“We were dead excited, we have been looking and looking and looking at motorhomes on eBay and ringing.

“One came up last Wednesday night. It was really nice, Emma said she really liked it.”

Credit: Paul Harding-Hubbard

For a while, the couple thought that they had missed out on the motorhome as the woman, who claimed that her name was Tina Corcoram, revealed to them that she had already made an agreement to sell the motorhome to another dealer. She said that they were coming over on Saturday, May 16, to pay the deposit.

Despite this, Paul persisted as he had fallen in love with the vehicle.

He said: “I told her all our circumstances. I told her that we were in the NHS and we were both working quite hard lately and this was our lifelong dream that we had to go and do this, that and other things in a motorhome with the kids.

“Quite often we are working. We work opposite shifts and the kids suffer.

“You are looking after other people and your own family suffers, which we accept because that is the job you sign up for.”

Tina replied to his message and said that she would possibly reconsider after having a word with her husband. Meanwhile, Paul continued to use his spare time away from the frontline to check on the motorhome’s details on eBay.

Credit: Paul Harding-Hubbard

The couple did a check through DVLA and it seemed to be all completely fine. They claim that there was even an advert of the home being sold two years ago, with a different interior.

Later on, the couple were astonished to hear that the woman had changed their mind and she would accept their offer.

Paul said: “I told her all our circumstances. I told her that we were in the NHS and we were both working quite hard lately and this was our life-long dream that we had to go and do this, that and other things in a motorhome with the kids.

“Quite often we are working. We work opposite shifts and the kids suffer.

“You are looking after other people and your own family suffers, which we accept because that is the job you sign up for.”

Still feeling apprehensive, Paul decided to play it safe and ask a few more pressing questions about why the woman wanted to sell what looked like a perfectly good motorhome.

He was told by Tina that she had a husband who was suffering from sciatica and he was struggling to drive as a result. She added that they were looking at purchasing a static caravan instead.

Regardless, Paul was curious as to why the motorhome was so cheap. The woman responded that she was aware they had put it slightly under what they could have been asking for, yet was prepared to take the hit as they had listed it at that price.

Paul said: “It was all really believable. She told me the mileage on it. Then we got talking about had she been away in it. She said oh yeah you want to take your kids to Germany.

“She said we have been to this place with the grandkids in Germany.

“It has got a waterpark and is so good for the kids. I said how excited they were and how excited we were.”

As Paul and Emma’s dream looked like it was becoming a reality, he offered to pay the £14,000 in full, believing that his family’s vision had finally come true.

However, Paul still had a niggling doubt. He was determined to “see the best in everybody”, yet was confused as to why the motorhome turned out to be in a different place to the address that Tina had put down.

Easing his mind, Tina answered and explained that the motorhome was currently at her son’s home as he had put it in storage for them.

Paul could see on Google Maps where it was, and Tina was even able to provide him with a thorough list of stuff that was visible to see through the windows.

Throughout this, Emma, a cardiologist nurse at Lincoln County Hospital, was still feeling hesitant about forking out such a large sum of money for something that she had never even seen in person, despite the fact Tina had tried her best to reassure them and always was friendly, speaking fondly in particular of her neighbours.

Paul said: “She spoke to the wife. She said to my wife it’s all good, I promise you won’t be disappointed. She really sounded genuine.”

When the couple finally came to an agreement, they arranged to transfer the money but also decided to consult a fraud team at their bank about it.

Credit: Paul Harding-Hubbard

On May 13, a Thursday afternoon, the money was transferred over and the doubts once again hit Paul.

He said: “He came back and said she it has been sold.

“I said brilliant that makes me feel loads better.

“Surely someone who was scamming wouldn’t ring you back and say it is sold, they would carry on scamming.

“I felt quite at ease about it.”

Later on, the pair received an email which confirmed the purchase of the motorhome alongside a receipt. It stated that the seller had approved that the money had been deposited over safely.

A few days later, on May 16, the family were ecstatic as the five of them packed up their car and made the two-hour trip down to Norfolk to pick up their new motorhome.

However, their dreams were crushed upon arrival at their destination.

Paul said: “I did a night shift Friday night. I went home and had a couple hours’ sleep and arranged to be there at 12 o’clock dinner time.

“I put all the kids in the car, the missus got in, everybody was excited.

“It was a two hour drive to Norfolk and there was no van there.

“I was absolutely devastated. When we saw there was no van our hearts sunk.”

Initially, Paul assumed that the motorhome must have been taken out to get some fuel for their arrival. Instead, the family was greeted by an elderly woman who appeared apologetic as she shook her head.

The innocent woman explained to them that they had fallen victim to a scam and that they weren’t the only ones. Apparently, they were the third family to turn up within a week, believing they would be collecting a motorhome.

Paul has since stated that he feels like a failure and his whole family are heartbroken by the ordeal.

He said: “It was a long, sad ride home. The kids were crying, it was awful.

“I just feel really stupid. You just feel like they have taken the absolute mickey out of me.

“I am gutted about it because you just feel empty. You had these dreams, you have talked about and gone over and over it with the wife and talked to the kids about it.

“I have three kids who are 10, eight and four who were all really excited.

“You go down there and it’s awful, you feel like you have let them down.

“We won’t be able to do it again as there is no way I am going to be able to get £14,000.”

Paul has since got in contact with the police and the banks, yet is pessimistic in the hopes of getting the money back.

He said: “You just feel empty. I can’t get £14,000 from anywhere.

“I have remortgaged so I am going to be paying until I am 70-years-old and paying for nothing.”

He added that the family has given up on their dream of owning a motorhome.

According to a spokesperson from Action Fraud, the case is currently under investigation.

They said: “Action Fraud can confirm that it received NFRC200503649176 in May 2020 and it is currently being assessed by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.”

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