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  • FIRST POST
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 11th Nov 17, 2:03 PM
    • 1,194Posts
    • 180Thanks
    littlerock
    Banks legally unable to investigate illegal transfer of funds
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 17, 2:03 PM
    Banks legally unable to investigate illegal transfer of funds 11th Nov 17 at 2:03 PM
    Reading a rather worrying story in my paper today. Apparently someone was buying a small van from Mercedes-Benz when her email was hacked into. As a result she received details apparently from M-B of the account to which to send the money online, which were false. The money was stolen.

    Her account is with Nat-West and the fraudster's account was/is with Barclays in the UK. She has the sort code and account number. Barclays says there is no money left in the fraudster's account as it was all withdrawn in cash or transferred to other accounts at once. So it cannot help her.

    The worrying part is the bank says it is unable to investigate either what happened to the money or the owner of the account used to move it. The Barclays spokesman said, and here I am quoting direct from the paper to be sure I get it right: "Only the police have the authority to investigate the movement of funds and the person managing the bank account. The banks do not have this authority."

    This appears to mean that once a fraudster has got the money into a legitimate account, they cannot be touched unless the police decide to investigate. The banks need do nothing and indeed claim that legally they are unable to act even if they have the name and address of the account owner, they cannot touch them.

    The newspaper said more than 19,000 people lost a total of over £100 million in online frauds like this in the first 6 months of this year.
Page 1
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 11th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    • 1,418 Posts
    • 1,865 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    Good. If it wasn't like this it would simply be one customer's word against another. How would the bank know who's telling the truth? People would lose confidence in bank transfers.
    • camelot1971
    • By camelot1971 11th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    • 482 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    camelot1971
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    The sad fact is a lot of these accounts that money is paid into are mule accounts, where the criminals get naive people to have money paid in and then transfer it on outside the UK.

    The banks act on instruction from their customer - imagine all the posts on here if the banks refused to process a transaction. I've actually seen it (I work in the "financial crime" space) where people, even if told not to send money because it's a scam, send the money!

    I think the Payment Systems Regulator is looking at this now to see if banks can compensate people in some circumstances. Even so, we are all responsible for checking whether the payment is going to a legitimate account or not.
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 11th Nov 17, 4:03 PM
    • 1,626 Posts
    • 987 Thanks
    Nebulous2
    • #4
    • 11th Nov 17, 4:03 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Nov 17, 4:03 PM
    Have you received any letters recently about changes to your bank acount terms and conditions?

    One of the changes coming in next year is where a payment is made in error and the person receiving it refuses to return it the bank will hand over their name and address so you can take them to court.
    • takman
    • By takman 11th Nov 17, 7:43 PM
    • 2,813 Posts
    • 2,354 Thanks
    takman
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 17, 7:43 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 17, 7:43 PM
    Reading a rather worrying story in my paper today. Apparently someone was buying a small van from Mercedes-Benz when her email was hacked into. As a result she received details apparently from M-B of the account to which to send the money online, which were false. The money was stolen.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    It's unlikely her email was actually hacked, she probably just fell for a phishing scam and someone gave out her password.

    Also you should never trust an email. When sending an email you are able to choose the "from" address that the recipient sees and there are plenty of websites to do this. So anyone can send and email and make it appear to be from any email address they choose.

    Also i almost always send a small payment first when paying new payees (even my own accounts) then check that it has been received before sending any more.
    • GingerFurball
    • By GingerFurball 11th Nov 17, 10:58 PM
    • 945 Posts
    • 892 Thanks
    GingerFurball
    • #6
    • 11th Nov 17, 10:58 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Nov 17, 10:58 PM
    For some reason you seem surprised that it is the job of the police to investigate criminal activity.
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    • meer53
    • By meer53 12th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
    • 8,938 Posts
    • 12,974 Thanks
    meer53
    • #7
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
    If someone chooses to send money to an account using details they are given, why would you think the banks should investigate ? Banks do cooperate with the Police in cases like this but it's a POLICE investigation, not a BANK investigation. The bank aren't at fault here.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 12th Nov 17, 1:12 PM
    • 7,620 Posts
    • 5,485 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #8
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:12 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:12 PM
    For some reason you seem surprised that it is the job of the police to investigate criminal activity.
    Originally posted by GingerFurball

    Sadly it will come as a surprise to many police forces that they're supposed to investigate crimes rather than just record them!
    • Eco Miser
    • By Eco Miser 12th Nov 17, 1:39 PM
    • 3,148 Posts
    • 2,912 Thanks
    Eco Miser
    • #9
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:39 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:39 PM
    Also you should never trust an email. When sending an email you are able to choose the "from" address that the recipient sees and there are plenty of websites to do this. So anyone can send and email and make it appear to be from any email address they choose.
    Originally posted by takman
    And you don't even need a website to do it, just configure your email client (in)appropriately.

    Whenever you get an email that purports to be from someone you are buying from (or through), don't just believe the displayed address, look at the message source (control+u on Thunderbird) and decide if the various 'Received: from' lines make sense for the alleged sender, and match previous communications from them, and if there's the slightest doubt, contact them using a known good method.
    Eco Miser
    Saving money for well over half a century
    • derps
    • By derps 12th Nov 17, 2:08 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    derps
    What sort of "investigation" do you expect the banks to do in these circumstances, exactly? Would they have detectives driving about in marked patrol cars knocking on doors, could they arrest people? Maybe they should have guns and helicopters.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 12th Nov 17, 3:00 PM
    • 1,194 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    littlerock
    I am a bit surprised at the tone of some of these replies. There does not seem to be any dispute in this case that the woman was subject to an email hacking scam of some sort. Indeed I have read of a number of these this year where someone's company email account is hacked by criminals who then lead the owner to transfer money to a fake account.

    In cases where a crime has been committed, in an ideal world it is reported to the police fraud team who investigate with the cooperation of the banks. What if the police fail to investigate, claim they are understaffed or have other priorities? Does the bank leave the account untouched to be used to defraud someone else?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3247176/How-police-ignore-cybercrime-Just-one-100-cases-investigated-despite-number-online-fraud-cases-rocketing-recent-years.html
    Last edited by littlerock; 12-11-2017 at 3:05 PM.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 12th Nov 17, 3:16 PM
    • 5,694 Posts
    • 5,313 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    The newspaper said more than 19,000 people lost a total of over £100 million in online frauds like this in the first 6 months of this year.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    Further cases and a breakdown of the figures available here
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/savings/latest-bank-transfer-fraud-victims-lost-113665-now-homeless/

    Moral of the story is check and double check when you are transferring money that you have the legitimate sort code and account number - don't rely on e-mail
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 12th Nov 17, 3:20 PM
    • 5,694 Posts
    • 5,313 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    What sort of "investigation" do you expect the banks to do in these circumstances, exactly?
    Originally posted by derps
    I'd expect Barclays to be looking back at what id checks they did on the person who opened the account that the money was transferred into, since the whole point of these ever more stringent ID checks is supposedly to try to prevent money launderers opening accounts to use for these purposes.
    • msallen
    • By msallen 12th Nov 17, 3:26 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 488 Thanks
    msallen
    It would not be acceptable for banks to have the authority to go around looking into bank accounts they don't control any time they wanted, or removing money from person B's account on the say so of person A.

    The only time these actions may be necessary are when a crime has happened, and if it is a crime then the police do the investigating, with the bank's (duly authorised) assistance.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 12th Nov 17, 3:34 PM
    • 917 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    phillw
    and if it is a crime then the police do the investigating, with the bank's (duly authorised) assistance.
    Originally posted by msallen
    This doesn't happen.
    • takman
    • By takman 12th Nov 17, 3:35 PM
    • 2,813 Posts
    • 2,354 Thanks
    takman
    I am a bit surprised at the tone of some of these replies. There does not seem to be any dispute in this case that the woman was subject to an email hacking scam of some sort. Indeed I have read of a number of these this year where someone's company email account is hacked by criminals who then lead the owner to transfer money to a fake account.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    Like I said above it is extremely unlikely the person email account was actually hacked. To carry out this scam you don't even need access to the persons email account and no hacking is required. If they did access the account to get information them this is usually done by getting the persons password by some kind of phishing attempt or similar.

    If people keep blaming it on hacking and make out they are entirely faultless them I'm not surprised so many people are falling for it. People need to take more responsibility for their online security.
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 12th Nov 17, 3:40 PM
    • 291 Posts
    • 282 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    I am a bit surprised at the tone of some of these replies. There does not seem to be any dispute in this case that the woman was subject to an email hacking scam of some sort. Indeed I have read of a number of these this year where someone's company email account is hacked by criminals who then lead the owner to transfer money to a fake account.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    That's not hacking, that's phishing. Hacking is where they have actually obtained control of the email account by obtaining the password or some other means, a different thing entirely.
    Last edited by tempus_fugit; 12-11-2017 at 3:43 PM.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and it's forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 12th Nov 17, 5:13 PM
    • 8,938 Posts
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    meer53
    This doesn't happen.
    Originally posted by phillw
    Yes it does.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 12th Nov 17, 5:49 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 6,973 Thanks
    bigadaj
    As well as people taking responsibility and using soem thought before transferring large sums without checking the receiving account is correct, the response of the receiving bank seems poor to me.

    I can't see that natwest have done anything wrong but Barclays should have better knowledge of the person operating the account that abs received the sum, we all have to jump though hoops to open accounts now but apparently Barclays have no information on who has been operating that account they hold.
    • derps
    • By derps 12th Nov 17, 8:27 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    derps

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