Fiona Phillips scammed for thousands in hellish phone call after Alzheimers diagnosis

Fiona Phillips shocked the nation by announcing the "heartbreaking" news that she is battling Alzheimer's Disease.

She revealed her diagnosis yesterday, 4 July, in the Mirror.

And now it's been uncovered that the former GMTV icon, 62, lost thousands of pounds from her bank account just after her diagnosis last year, in a terrible telephone con.

Writing in her column for the Mirror at the time, Fiona – who anchored the morning TV show for more than a decade alongside Eamon Holmes – said she'd received "a phone call from a charming lady (see what they did there?), who was, apparently, 'just checking up' that I was still happy with their service, and was there anything else they could do to make it even better?

"Turns out they had raided my account which has made everyday life pretty hellish and hugely inconvenient, not to mention making me feel like a prize idiot for believing their grasping, horrible lies."

She said that the experience had made her feel "gut-churningly jittery and invaded."

After falling victim to the scam, Fiona said she felt "more than a little bit stupid" but added: "Then I trust people and wouldn’t dream of robbing a stranger, making their lives an inconvenient misery like the low-life no-hopers who make our hard-working lives hell."

She finished: "Get a job like the rest of us, you absolute losers."

Fiona explained how the disease has “ravaged” her family and she had long feared being given the diagnosis.

She told the Mirror: “This disease has ravaged my family and now it has come for me.

“And all over the country there are people of all different ages whose lives are being affected by it – it’s heartbreaking.

“I just hope I can help find a cure which might make things better for others in the future.”

Fiona is married to Martin Frizell, editor of ITV’s flagship programme This Morning, who also worked on GMTV. Martin has said how he wishes to have his "vibrant" wife back.

Fiona said that, despite fearing she would one day be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the news was still a “gut-punching, shuddering shock”.

The presenter said she feels “more angry than anything else” due to the disease having already affected her family life.

“My poor mum was crippled with it, then my dad, my grandparents, my uncle. It just keeps coming back for us,” she said.

Though she has kept the news private for 18 months, Fiona said she has decided to share her story to help end the stigma around Alzheimer’s.

“There is still an issue with this disease that the public thinks of old people, bending over a stick, talking to themselves,” she said.

“But I’m still here, getting out and about, meeting friends for coffee, going for dinner with Martin and walking every day.”

She is taking part in clinical trials at University College Hospital in London, which aim to revolutionise future treatment.

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