Chch man talked into giving away life savings

Chch man talked into giving away life savings

An elderly Christchurch man has opened up about how he was talked into handing over his life savings to a man he didn't know. 

Fred Adams has told his story so that people caught in a similar situation will seek help.

Eighty-two-year-old Mr Adams says more than 62 signed receipts are for dozens of cash loans he made to a man he met at the mall. 

"He came up to me as I was about to enter the supermarket and led me to believe that I had known him from my school days," he says.

From then, for seven months, he says he was talked into handing over his life savings -- almost $100,000.

"It would usually be large sum of money; $1000 was nothing."

The entire ordeal kept secret from his family.

"I thought one person worrying about it is enough, but it just got so far that, I mean, there was no end in sight to it."

"It was devastating," says daughter Kari White. "It was absolutely devastating."

Fifty-year-old Kim Barwell has been charged on 65 counts of obtaining money by deception. He's due to reappear in the Christchurch District Court later this month.

More than $12,000 has been raised on a Givealittle page to help refill Mr Adams' savings, and a Christchurch coffee shop is also throwing its support behind the cause. A dollar from each of its 400 coffees sold was being donated.

"We were thinking, if it was one of our grandparents, say, we would want someone to do the same kind of thing," says Black and White Cartell Coffee's Rose Olsen.

Mr Adams' family has a message to anyone else caught out like their dad.

"People just need to come forward," says Ms White. "Don't be embarrassed; don't be ashamed."

It lifted a huge weight off his shoulders, now that it's out in the open.