The pensioner, named by the Council as Mr A, was “addicted” to responding to scams promising financial reward.
Tony Brooks, Croydon’s director of public safety said: “This case should act as a warning to everybody that they must not hand over money or bank details on the vague promise of a big cash windfall.”
“The tone of many of these messages was very persuasive, and, in some cases, aggressive and harassing.
“He was convinced that he was a would-be winner and was refusing help. The council’s adult services department had become involved and was keen to prevent further abuse.”
Mr A was only saved from further losses after an intervention by trading standards, adult services and local banks.
Councillor Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety described the case as “heartbreaking.”
“A vulnerable old man was ruthlessly conned by fraudsters who had no compunction in taking everything he owned.”
Since the scammers were based abroad, it is unlikely there will be a prosecution, however as a result of the operation, details of a 91-year-old man from Cumbria who was a victim of a similar fraud were recovered and his family informed.
The news comes as the Alzheimer’s Society releases a report revealing that people with dementia are being cheated out of at least £100m.
They estimate 15 per cent of people with dementia have been victims of scams such as cold-calling, fraudulent mail outs, or mis-selling,