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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 Barclays says there is no money left in the fraudster's account as it was all withdrawn in cash or transferred to other accounts at once.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 2
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Nov 17, 1:50 PM
    • 1,194 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    littlerock
    I have a Barclays account and they put me through all sorts of hoops when I want to transfer large sums to another account, money on hold, phone calls to me to identify myself etc. I also know from trying to open a Barclays account for my late mother, how many hoops they make you go through to open an account. Closing an account is a whole other ball game.

    Yet the thieves in this case seem to have opened a valid Barclays account, and transferred out several large sums of money to empty the account, in a short space of time, without arising any concern in the Barclays system. Just to open an account the fraudster must have had a legitimate address and proof of identify.

    And if the police say they have no time to investigate, you are screwed and it seems, Barclays will allow the scamster to go on using a quasi legitimate account for frauds. Banks are supposed tonnage a duty of care to minimise fraud but do not seem to doing so.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/savings/victim-fraud-take-bank-court/
    Last edited by littlerock; 13-11-2017 at 10:12 PM.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Nov 17, 1:52 PM
    • 1,194 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    littlerock
    This is another example of a scam in action
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/oct/21/couple-lose-120000-email-hacking-fraud-legal-sector
    • takman
    • By takman 13th Nov 17, 6:41 PM
    • 2,813 Posts
    • 2,354 Thanks
    takman
    The reason these scams work is because people don't even take simple precautions when sending money. But when articles state things like this then it doesn't help the situation:

    The email from Steed & Steed had been hacked
    What a load of rubbish and statements like that just make people think it's some kind of complicated technical scam. No emails were "hacked" as stated earlier the emails was simply sent to appear to be from the solicitors.
    • camelot1971
    • By camelot1971 13th Nov 17, 7:15 PM
    • 482 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    camelot1971
    I have a Barclays account and they put me through all sorts of hoops when I want to transfer large sums to another account, money on hold, phone calls to me to identify myself etc. I also know from trying to open a Barclays account for my late mother, how many hoops they make you go through to open an account. Closing an account is a whole other ball game.

    Yet the thieves in this case seem to have opened a valid Barclays account, and transferred out several large sums of money to empty the account, in a short space of time, without arising any concern in the Barclays system. Just to open an account the fraudster must have had a legitimate address and proof of identify.

    And if the police say they have no time to investigate, you are screwed and it seems, Barclays will allow the scamster to go on using a legitimate account for frauds.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    The accounts are generally opened by students who get suckered in to using their accounts to launder money through it (for example, "working from home" scam) - by the time the account is suspended the student has sent the money overseas. The student gets the fraud marker and the criminal gets away with it.

    A lot of overseas students also sell their accounts to criminals too, once they are heading back home. They have no plan to come back, don't care what the account is used for and the police aren't going to chase them, even if they could prove the details were shared.

    No scammer is going to use their own, actual account for this (unless they are stupid!)
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Nov 17, 10:01 PM
    • 1,194 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    littlerock
    one of my concerns in all this is that regardless of the naivety of the original users, banks seem to be washing their hands of apparently genuine accounts used for fraud. what is to stop me setting up a valid account at say Lloyd's, presumably with a few bits of incorrect info, and then letting it be used for a scam.

    As I read this, if the police won't investigate ,( too busy, too short staffed or even to judge from some of the views expressed here, think, stupid Joe Public does not deserve helping) , then I can run the Scam bank account almost indefinitely. Indeed use it for money laundering. Are banks supposed to be taking steps to cut down on that by better checks.?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/savings/victim-fraud-take-bank-court/
    Last edited by littlerock; 13-11-2017 at 10:27 PM.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 13th Nov 17, 10:34 PM
    • 10,671 Posts
    • 6,971 Thanks
    bigadaj
    one of my concerns in all this is that regardless of the naivety of the original users, banks seem to be washing their hands of apparently genuine accounts used for fraud. what is to stop me setting up a valid account at say Lloyd's, presumably with a few bits of incorrect info, and then letting it be used for a scam.

    As I read this, if the police won't investigate ,( too busy, too short staffed or even to judge from some of the views expressed here, think, stupid Joe Public does not deserve helping) , then I can run the Scam bank account almost indefinitely. Indeed use it for money laundering. Are banks supposed to be taking steps to cut down on that by better checks.?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/savings/victim-fraud-take-bank-court/
    Originally posted by littlerock
    Just check this forum out, plenty of reports of people having accounts closed for suspicious activity, which in most cases isn't illegal at all.

    You can try and open your scam account if you want but it's likely to be shut down and you'll have a cifas market making many financial transaction very difficult if not impossible for you for years to come.

    Let us know how you get on.
    • badger09
    • By badger09 14th Nov 17, 10:13 AM
    • 5,376 Posts
    • 4,613 Thanks
    badger09
    The reason these scams work is because people don't even take simple precautions when sending money. But when articles state things like this then it doesn't help the situation:



    What a load of rubbish and statements like that just make people think it's some kind of complicated technical scam. No emails were "hacked" as stated earlier the emails was simply sent to appear to be from the solicitors.
    Originally posted by takman
    'The extraordinary story started in late August when Peter telephoned his familyís long-used firm of solicitors, Steed & Steed, based in Braintree, Essex. He rang because he was due to pay his grandmotherís inheritance tax bill to HM Revenue & Customs and needed the law firmís bank details. Later that morning, an email duly arrived with the firmís account and sort code detailed in a Word file attachment. This was the first contact he had had with anyone at the law firm, he says.'

    takman, I'm not doubting your technical knowledge, and I agree that the victims of this scam should have taken more care to check that the account details they'd received were correct.

    However, could you please explain, how you think the fraudsters managed to send an email to these people, purportedly from their solicitors' email account, very shortly after the phone call requesting bank account details.

    Unless the fraudsters listen to all incoming telephone calls, do the fraudsters monitor & intercept the solicitors' outgoing emails? If so, wouldn't Joe public describe that as a hack?
    I'm a supporter of dunstonh
    • takman
    • By takman 14th Nov 17, 12:50 PM
    • 2,813 Posts
    • 2,354 Thanks
    takman
    'The extraordinary story started in late August when Peter telephoned his familyís long-used firm of solicitors, Steed & Steed, based in Braintree, Essex. He rang because he was due to pay his grandmotherís inheritance tax bill to HM Revenue & Customs and needed the law firmís bank details. Later that morning, an email duly arrived with the firmís account and sort code detailed in a Word file attachment. This was the first contact he had had with anyone at the law firm, he says.'

    takman, I'm not doubting your technical knowledge, and I agree that the victims of this scam should have taken more care to check that the account details they'd received were correct.

    However, could you please explain, how you think the fraudsters managed to send an email to these people, purportedly from their solicitors' email account, very shortly after the phone call requesting bank account details.
    Originally posted by badger09
    Well the "technical" side of it is easy; when you send an email you can specify the address it appears to come from. So sending the email and making it appear to come from the solicitors doesn't even need access to anyones email account.

    Unless the fraudsters listen to all incoming telephone calls, do the fraudsters monitor & intercept the solicitors' outgoing emails? If so, wouldn't Joe public describe that as a hack?
    Originally posted by badger09
    There is nowhere enough details in the article to work out exactly what happened. The article doesn't even mention that he gave the solicitors his email address or why they didn't simply tell him the bank details over the phone. Even if the fraudsters had access to the email account it doesn't mean they were hacked, they may have simply had the password to the account (which is far more likely).
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 14th Nov 17, 5:12 PM
    • 291 Posts
    • 282 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    However, could you please explain, how you think the fraudsters managed to send an email to these people, purportedly from their solicitors' email account, very shortly after the phone call requesting bank account details.

    Unless the fraudsters listen to all incoming telephone calls, do the fraudsters monitor & intercept the solicitors' outgoing emails? If so, wouldn't Joe public describe that as a hack?
    Originally posted by badger09
    It's common knowledge that fraudsters can spoof the "from" email address quite easily when sending them, this is how most of these scams occur. As to how they knew to send the email at that exact time, that's a mystery, but I doubt it was because they had hacked the solicitor's email account. Somehow they had inside knowledge, I think.
    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.
    • GingerFurball
    • By GingerFurball 15th Nov 17, 1:53 AM
    • 945 Posts
    • 892 Thanks
    GingerFurball
    one of my concerns in all this is that regardless of the naivety of the original users, banks seem to be washing their hands of apparently genuine accounts used for fraud. what is to stop me setting up a valid account at say Lloyd's, presumably with a few bits of incorrect info, and then letting it be used for a scam.

    As I read this, if the police won't investigate ,( too busy, too short staffed or even to judge from some of the views expressed here, think, stupid Joe Public does not deserve helping) , then I can run the Scam bank account almost indefinitely. Indeed use it for money laundering. Are banks supposed to be taking steps to cut down on that by better checks.?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/savings/victim-fraud-take-bank-court/
    Originally posted by littlerock
    Give it a try and see how you get on.
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