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Cyber fraud lost deposit

(19 Posts)
Whattodowithaminute Fri 20-Oct-17 14:45:09

Best friend ready to complete on house, deposit been transferred and have now been told they have been victims of cyber fraud, tr money never got to the intended destination. They are left without their deposit (a nearly 6 figure sum), without their future dream home, homeless and devastated. Police say they can’t do anything-any advice or experience to share? Desperate to do anything to help

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 20-Oct-17 14:48:37

Were they given the wrong account details to send to or was the money intercepted between them and solicitor or bank and solicitor?

Sunny777 Fri 20-Oct-17 14:58:52

they should have transferred a tiny amount like 100 quid to solicitors' accounts, called them to confirm on phone and email.
then do the Main transfer. i did same few years back.
you ought to be very careful when transferring such huge amounts.

PragmaticWench Fri 20-Oct-17 15:49:41

It's a well known scam, often involving online conveyancing firms but not limited to those.

Bitofeverything Fri 20-Oct-17 15:54:21

Can they work out which bank from sort code? Get on the case to that bank asap and tell them situation, and ask them to freeze the account?

SandyDenny Fri 20-Oct-17 16:05:18

Google it, sadly this is very common and even more sadly very little money is ever recovered.

Was it an email interception fraud, it's a great terrible thing to happen to anyone

Cassimin Fri 20-Oct-17 16:13:36

I would try complaining to the bank who transferred it.
When I did this my bank warned me to ring the solicitors to check all or their details, transfer a smaller amount then check they received it before transfering the rest.
So sorry for them.

Whatthefoxgoingon Fri 20-Oct-17 16:26:13

So very sorry to hear this. What a horrific thing to go through!

They do need to report it to action fraud

Sadly I don’t think they’ll get their money back, as this is very difficult to do indeed.

SandyDenny Fri 20-Oct-17 16:28:08

Did they make the transfer themselves by online banking? If they did the bank isn't at fault, I'm pretty sure it's been established in previous cases that if the customer makes the payment willingly the bank is in no responsible and tbh I think that's right. Banks have to accept the customers online instructions.

Do you know if they've tried to get any money back from the receiving bank?

Hoppinggreen Fri 20-Oct-17 16:30:51

There was a thing about this on Moneybox live on R4 the other day
The banks won't take action as the money was transferred voluntarily by the account holder
It's a major issue apparently
Your poor friends

whiskyowl Fri 20-Oct-17 16:33:35

Oh my God, how utterly horrific. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

I don't know what you can do other than to support, support, support.

passthecremeeggs Fri 20-Oct-17 16:43:21

The key to this is why it went to the wrong destination. Did they receive an email from their solicitors saying the details had changed? If the solicitors' email has been hacked then they may get the money back from the solicitors' insurance. But if it's their email that's been hacked, and he email that looks like it came from the solicitors actually came from the fraudster (I.e. Different email address but with one character changed for example, so it wasn't immediately obvious) then it's not the solicitors' responsibility. The bank is unlikely to do anything as the money was presumably willingly transferred by your friends. Dealing with these scams used to be my job so ask if you want any more help

origamiwarrior Fri 20-Oct-17 16:44:43

Yes, check out Moneybox Live R4 on iplayer, they featured a number of similar cases. But unfortunately the upshot seemed to be that nothing could be done. Just awful.

wowfudge Fri 20-Oct-17 16:52:06

Our solicitors had a system which was designed to prevent exactly this and large warning signs on their website, conveyancing portal and emails.

specialsubject Fri 20-Oct-17 19:23:40

So sorry.

I am currently dealing with a solicitor about something else. Every piece of correspondence from them has a warning on it about this - they never change email by emailing you.

And sending £50 first to check details are right was standard practice 5 years ago.

That said - you can't send sums that big by online banking so what did happen?

wheresmyphone Sat 21-Oct-17 19:33:25

Article in Guardian today about this. Apparently solicitors accounts are being hacked all the time now.

BowiesJumper Mon 23-Oct-17 09:18:55

Oh god how horrible. Our solicitors warned us about these scams when we started the conveyancing process - that if we got an email "changing or "updating" the bank or contact details we were to let them know as it could be a scam. I rang them to double check the bank details I had were correct before I made the transfer as I was so paranoid about it. The lady at the bank(as we had to go in to make the payment) also mentioned it as she said it had happened to people before.

Your poor poor friends. Was it a hacking scam?

KitKat1985 Mon 23-Oct-17 10:31:05

No advice but god, how utterly horrific. sad

Whattodowithaminute Wed 25-Oct-17 11:48:59

Thanks so much for comments and offers of help. I don’t have all of the details and don’t want to probe. It would appear that at least some of the money had left the solicitors without authorisation, they are appointing a legal team to represent them further as the solicitor has verbally accepted liability in part... everything crossed for ten in the interim

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