Reclaiming money paid to a known conman

I recently put a car repair job on an online mechanics finder website (well reputed one) and accepted the offer from a mechanic who came to the house and see the car. He quoted me £382 plus £50 call out for the job. I transferred money to his account but after two months of lies and broken promises, I now know he’s a known con man and has taken money from many people before without repairing the cars. My question is ‘What are the obligations of his bank (think money) to return my payment when they now know he’s a criminal and I’ve given them proof of this. Will they freeze his account? Will I get refunded? What powers do they have? 
Thanks in advance for any information in return. 

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  • edited 14 January 2021 at 10:25PM
    tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    edited 14 January 2021 at 10:25PM
    The obligations of his bank will only be to return any money that a courts orders to be returned. Until you get this criminal into court (think private prosecution), you will not get any money back via his bank regardless of whether you have proven to their satisfaction that he is a criminal. However, they may stop payments into his account, and they may close his account, but they will not tell you what they are doing.

    Do you have a crime reference number from the police? A private prosecution might well benefit from having a crime reference number. 

    Have you reported the matter to the trade website to stop him using them? Even if they stop his account on their platform, he might just sign up under another name, so keep your  eye out on the site - such criminals are lazy and won't bother to write any new marketing copy, they will just cut-and-paste from their last attempt and give themselves away in doing so.    

    if you have home insurance, you might have legal expenses cover. If you have this you can get proper legal advice from the insurers legal helpline, and they might even represent you to get this money back via a civil claim in the County Court (think CCJ). I expect that this toad is too slippery for a civil case to get you any redress. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Do you think a conman leaves money in a bank account ready to be recalled?
    Face facts; the money is gone.
    What to do next?
    1. Police/Action fraud.
    2. Ask the bank to try a recall (100% you won't get a penny back) but it will alert the receiving bank and possibly the account will be frozen (no help to you unfortunately).
    3. Alert the website and if you can write a factual review (careful not to libel him).
    4. In future never pay upfront and if possible pay by credit card - be very careful of anybody asking you for a bank payment. These days there is no excuse for a business not to accept a card payment.
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    If he has taken your money for work he has not done, that's theft and so in the first instance, I'd definitely report him to the police using the number 101. They should investigate him and his fraudulent practices but at the very least they will give you a crime number. That will help if you decide, as tacpot12 has suggested, to use your insurance to try to get your money back. Sometimes you also get legal cover with your car insurance - mine came with it as standard. (Although I haven't read the small print yet. . . )

    What a pain though, I'm sorry this has happened.

    I'm also in agreement with tacpot12 that you should report him to his trade website and also if he is a member of any motor mechanics association. 

    Before spending any more money trying to get your money back, you could try Citizens Advice, they have an online chat service as well as a phone enquiry service. 

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/

    I'm not sure that his bank would be able to do anything without official notification because even though you say you have proof, their hands will be tied unless they receive an official directive. 

    That's a lot of money to lose, please don't let him get away with it.
    Please note that comments are strictly my own opinion, intended to help - never hinder. If they do not help then please ignore as the intention of the forum is to help everyone, if possible. MSE forum rules clearly state "no two people have the same circumstances or experiences and it is up to you to investigate, check and check again before you make any decisions or take any action based on information you glean from our community. Remember, don't rely on what you are reading. Verify it and protect yourself. You are responsible for any action you consequently make." It's always best to verify everything. Inappropriate comments will be reported, as per the Forum rules.
  • MalMonroe said:
    . That will help if you decide, as tacpot12 has suggested, to use your insurance to try to get your money back. Sometimes you also get legal cover with your car insurance - mine came with it as standard. (Although I haven't read the small print yet. . . )




    Can I suggest that the insurance company will only become involved if they have a 51% chance (in their opinion) of winning the case. I cannot see them get involved in this to be honest (but I could be wrong).
  • FaceHeadFaceHead Forumite
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    There isn't a realistic prospect of getting the money back. You can report it to action fraud to get your loss recorded in national statistics, but that's about it. 

    Did you ever meet this person? It sounds like they could be overseas and/or any details you have about them could be fabricated.

    Whilst being conned is stressful and infuriating motivating you to do something about it, dwelling on it is only going to increase the harm it does to you. Easier said that done, but the best thing to do is to chalk it up to experience and move on. 
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