King’s Lynn couple expect triplets to raise family in hostel after online scam left them penniless
A Lynn family who are expecting triplets face homelessness after an “online scam” leaves them penniless.
Lucy Thompson, 19, lives with her partner Kieron Minister, 20, and their six-month-old daughter, Lacey-May Minister, paid £775 in flat deposit after seeing a private property advertised on social media.
The property, in Wisbech, was later reposted online under a different profile – the couple contacted police and fraud services to get their money back.
After speaking to Fenland Council, they have now been placed in a hostel in March, with their young daughter, miles from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn, where Lucy is due to give birth.
She said: “We feel attacked and angry about this online scam, we saw the property online and paid the deposit, we gave notice and after that we were to move in and were told that the property was no longer available.”
She also alleged that the property had been reposted under a different profile and that others had contacted them about it.
The property, in Wisbech, was ideal for the couple, who wanted to be near Lucy’s family for the birth of their triplets next month.
Lucy said: “I have to go to QEH every two weeks for neonatal appointments and not drive, it will take three buses to get to the hospital.
“Living in a hostel is not the right conditions for my daughter or for raising our triplets.”
The couple contacted the police and anti-fraud services to recover their money.
They appealed to West Norfolk Council for help with a property but said they were ‘not prioritised’.
Lucy said: “We weren’t prioritized on the accommodation list so we had no choice but to accept the hostel, it affects my pregnancy. I can’t bring my babies here.”
A spokesperson for the council said: ‘When someone at risk of homelessness asks us for help with deposits or rent in advance, we will do an assessment to make sure they can afford the rent.
“This assessment covers a range of affordability criteria, for example if they are relying on Housing Benefit to pay rent, we will consider the number of bedrooms in the property the applicant wants versus the number of bedrooms they is entitled under the housing allowance rules.
“When the valuation shows the property is not realistically affordable, it would be irresponsible of us to help them get a property that would put them in debt.”
The couple now face the next few weeks in the hostel with their daughter, until they hear from the accommodation.
They said, “Our future was planned and we had a beautiful home to raise our children.”