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Holiday park investors who lost millions targeted by scammers

PUBLISHED: 12:54 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:59 27 February 2020

Dream Lodge Group ran Norfolk Park in North Walsham which is now under new ownership. Photo: Gregg Brown

Dream Lodge Group ran Norfolk Park in North Walsham which is now under new ownership. Photo: Gregg Brown

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Customers who lost millions of pounds investing in holiday lodges are now being targeted by scammers.

The entrance to Norfolk Park, on Bacton Road, North Walsham, which is now under new ownership. Picture: ALEX HURRELLThe entrance to Norfolk Park, on Bacton Road, North Walsham, which is now under new ownership. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

Dream Lodge Group, which ran eight holiday parks across the country, including Norfolk Park, near North Walsham, and Fornham Park near Bury St Edmunds, went into administration in January 2019, leaving customers out of pocket.

A total of 1,154 investors were owed £25.6m after buying into the luxury lodge scheme, which promised a return of 8pc on investments - plus four weeks holiday a year at any one of the parks.

Last year administrator Deloitte said people who had bought lodges would get back around 5pc of their investment - amounting to an estimated £1.28m of the £25.6m.

But now scammers pretending to be from Deloitte have sent letters to customers asking for a £5,000 payment to release their funds.

The letter, claiming to be from Deloitte, tells investors they must contact them immediately and pay them a charge to get their money back on a "first come first serve basis".

One former lodge owner from Cambridgeshire, who received the letter this week, said when he phoned the number on the letter, he was told he had to pay them £5,000 to get his money.

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The letter said he would get 15pc of his investment back in three to five days if he paid them the charge.

He realised it was a scam and contacted Deloitte who confirmed the letter was not from them.

The man, who did not wish to be named, was then sent a series of forms to fill out by the scammers.

"They obviously have a list of addresses of former lodge owners," he said. "It is a sophisticated fraud."

The letter mimics the Deloitte logo and has an address of a London office, but it is not Deloitte's address.

Deloitte also warned in January about companies claiming to be dealing with liquidation contacting ex-lodge owners.

They warned creditors: "The joint liquidators have not instructed, or otherwise authorised, any third parties to act on our behalf to carry out investigations or act in relation to any matters within the liquidation."

The holiday parks are now operating under new management.

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