Kidnap ransom scam nearly costs Sir Richard Branson £3.8m as conman poses as defence secretary


Find out more

Virgin boss, Sir Richard Branson has revealed that a conman posed as the defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon almost duping Sir Richard out of £3.8m.

Sir Richard said on his blog his assistant received a letter, with what appeared to be on official notepaper.

He said that he spoke to a man that “sounded exactly like Sir Michael,” he stated that a British diplomat was being held by terrorists.

Sir Richard said: He told me that British laws prevented the Government from paying out ransoms, which he normally completely concurred with.

“But he said on this occasion there was a particular, very sensitive, reason why they had to get this diplomat back.

“So, they were extremely confidentially asking a syndicate of British businesspersons to step in.

“I was asked to contribute five million dollars of the ransom money, which he assured me the British Government would find a way of paying back.”

However, Sir Richard being no fool despite being sympathetic to the request decide to undertake his own due diligence checks, so he called Downing Street.

His call was put through to the defence secretary’s office, he wrote on his blog: “His secretary [Sir Michael Fallon’s] assured me that Sir Michael hadn’t spoken to me and that nobody had been kidnapped.

“It was clearly a scam.

“I told them what had happened and we passed the matter over to the police.”