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  • FIRST POST
    • Benbythesea
    • By Benbythesea 4th Dec 18, 11:36 AM
    • 5Posts
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    Benbythesea
    Help! Father badly scammed
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 18, 11:36 AM
    Help! Father badly scammed 4th Dec 18 at 11:36 AM
    My father has just been scammed and any advice or observations would be gratefully received. He is a pensioner in his late 70s.

    Last month my father was contacted by someone claiming to be from his bank. The caller said that my father’s account had been compromised and they believed that it was an “inside job”. For that reason the caller said that an investigator from the FCA would make contact. My father was duly called back by and after several conversation over a number of weeks my father was effectively “groomed” by the fraudsters. He believed that the FCA were about to make some high profile arrests and my father was integral to bringing them down.

    The upshot was that my father contacted his financial advisor and asked that all his investments and pensions (in excess of £650 K) should be immediately liquidated and the money sent to his current account. The financial advisor checked my father was sure and my father signed a letter of consent and the funds were duly liquidated.

    My father doesn’t do internet banking and so he went into his local branch and requested that an internal payment be made to an account (the details of which were supplied by the fraudsters). He just had his debit card as id and they did this. I think he may have had a call from the bank after the first payment to check this was ok. As more funds were liquidated by his financial advisor he went in again on two further occasions and requested two further payments which weren’t queried.

    When my father heard nothing more the penny finally dropped. It is with the police and Action Fraud have been informed. Barclays are aware and investigating but so far we have heard nothing.

    The final nail in the coffin is that my father could find himself subject to capital gains tax and owe HMRC £70k - £80K for liquidating his assets. It really is a very sorry tale.

    The above fraud seems so far fetched and my father is the last person you would expect to fall for something like this. As you can imagine he is embarrassed, depressed and about as low as I’ve ever known him. His wife isn't well and the financial implications of this are devastating.

    Does anyone think the bank should have done more? What about the financial advisor? Does he owe a duty of care to ensure that my father really knew what he was doing (especially by turning himself into a high rate tax payer)?

    Thanks for reading and all advice most welcome.
Page 2
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 5th Dec 18, 12:50 PM
    • 27,680 Posts
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    xylophone
    It was a clever scam in that he felt he wasn't able to discuss what was going on with anyone.
    Probably because

    The caller said that my father’s account had been compromised and they believed that it was an “inside job”. For that reason the caller said that an investigator from the FCA would make contact. My father was duly called back by and after several conversation over a number of weeks my father was effectively “groomed” by the fraudsters. He believed that the FCA were about to make some high profile arrests


    This bunch of tricksters found his achilles heal and exploited it.
    In a former life he was a well respected professional with huge integrity.
    I'm afraid it was his integrity that was his Achilles heel - the scammers relied on his not discussing what he thought to be an investigation of "an inside job"?
    Last edited by xylophone; 05-12-2018 at 12:54 PM. Reason: add bold
    • soulsaver
    • By soulsaver 5th Dec 18, 3:27 PM
    • 2,147 Posts
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    soulsaver
    Probably because

    [/B]


    [/B]
    Originally posted by xylophone
    But family?
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 5th Dec 18, 4:21 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    But family?
    Originally posted by soulsaver
    Yes. People of a certain generation had the mentality of Careless Talk Costs Lives. Consider the secrets of Bletchley Park which were kept, erm, secret even from closest family by the thousands of people who worked there for decades afterwards. If you were told something in confidence, you kept that confidence, and if you weren't told something you minded your own business and didn't ask.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • AstroTurtle
    • By AstroTurtle 5th Dec 18, 4:30 PM
    • 271 Posts
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    AstroTurtle
    You could spend forever querying what the bank/IFA should have done but you can only focus on what they were required to do.

    I suggest you ascertain exactly what audit trails they have and any evidence on how they processed the transactions and if any additional checks were done etc as not to be blunt but your father may not remember absolutely everything from pure memory.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 5th Dec 18, 4:31 PM
    • 1,678 Posts
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    tacpot12
    I just wanted to commend the OP for posting his father's story. Although painful to relate, this story has alerted us to this new scam. I have not been aware of a scam where the FCA have been used as a cover story.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 5th Dec 18, 5:21 PM
    • 8,771 Posts
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    eskbanker
    I just wanted to commend the OP for posting his father's story. Although painful to relate, this story has alerted us to this new scam. I have not been aware of a scam where the FCA have been used as a cover story.
    Originally posted by tacpot12
    Sounds like the FCA have been familiar with the principle for a couple of years, albeit the variant described in this thread isn't specifically identified here: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/avoid-scams-unauthorised-firms/fake-fca-emails-letters-phone-calls
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 5th Dec 18, 7:45 PM
    • 4,730 Posts
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    robatwork
    Martin or Paul Lewis of Moneybox may very well be interested and want to take up this story.
    • mustiuc
    • By mustiuc 5th Dec 18, 8:06 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    mustiuc
    I can't understand how this could happen. With so many people involved and nobody raised an alarm.
    A couple of months ago I went to the bank to take 12k (or15) and I sat there more than 45mins being asked endless times by staff why i need the money, if i know about nowadays scams, if is something wrong just to give them a sign and they'll raise the alarm and everything. They were so pushy and asking so many questions that I started to get annoyed and frustrated.
    Now I understand why.

    Two weeks ago I got a text message saying "thanks for telling us about change your name or address". I phone them immediately and they block all my accounts,cards,etc. I sat nearly 1 week without having access to my money due to their checks and I have been appointed to their branch and speak/proof my identity and name to their branch manager. Again, i found that "excessive" and annoying to go to them and show documents.
    Now I understand why.
    • Missus Hyde
    • By Missus Hyde 6th Dec 18, 8:58 AM
    • 377 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    Missus Hyde
    Firstly, I'm sorry to hear about your father, Benbythesea; it must be dreadful for him.

    I can't understand how this could happen. With so many people involved and nobody raised an alarm.
    A couple of months ago I went to the bank to take 12k (or15) and I sat there more than 45mins being asked endless times by staff why i need the money, if i know about nowadays scams, if is something wrong just to give them a sign and they'll raise the alarm and everything. They were so pushy and asking so many questions that I started to get annoyed and frustrated.
    Now I understand why.

    Two weeks ago I got a text message saying "thanks for telling us about change your name or address". I phone them immediately and they block all my accounts,cards,etc. I sat nearly 1 week without having access to my money due to their checks and I have been appointed to their branch and speak/proof my identity and name to their branch manager. Again, i found that "excessive" and annoying to go to them and show documents.
    Now I understand why.
    Originally posted by mustiuc
    I also can't understand how this could happen with the bank allowing him to withdraw such large sums of money, without setting all their alarm bells ringing.

    Recently I was moving a sum of money (not as much as 650k!) to another account held by me and had to ring the Fraud Squad and undergo a Spanish Inquisition type enquiry from my bank before they would allow the money to be transferred (despite my assuring them I was doing this of my own free will, I was subjected to all their "are you sure no one is trying to force you to transfer the money, you poor old soul"fraud talk......I'd like to see them try!! In fact, now if I want to move any money over £5000, I've taken to ringing the bank beforehand to save time.

    Of course, after a tale such as the original post I can see why the banks are so over the top with their security, so I'm very surprised that OP's father was allowed to withdraw such large sums, especially over a few days.
    It's a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known........Sydney Carton.
    • MABLE
    • By MABLE 6th Dec 18, 10:25 AM
    • 3,690 Posts
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    MABLE
    I wanted to transfer £12000 to a new beneficiary and as soon I hit the button I was contacted by the fraud dept. They questioned on what the money was for and I was not being forced into doing this. After about 10 minutes they eventually agreed for the transfer to go through.

    At the time I was very annoyed about the way the bank handled my situation but on reflection they were just looking out for me and no doubt themselves.

    I remember at the time of trembling with fear I was doing something wrong.

    Anyway full marks to Lloyds for their efficient fraud systems.
    • Jami74
    • By Jami74 6th Dec 18, 10:42 AM
    • 213 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    Jami74
    The more I read this thread the more angry I feel inside. Are we to assume once you receive the age of 70 plus all common sense goes out the window.
    Originally posted by MABLE
    I am sure we are not to assume that at all. I know lots of people far younger who are not internet savvy and don't have any scam awareness (the other week I caught my partner about to put card details into a website because Argos were going to give him a free watch and he just had to pay postage He is a long way from 70).

    I imagine we hear about older people more often getting scammed because they are more likely to be targeted. They are likely to have more money and more time to spend on the phone being groomed and going to the bank to transfer funds.

    A couple of years ago we went to the bank to withdraw £4k and that involved showing ID and explaining why we wanted to withdraw it to more than one person. The OPs Dad did want to withdraw/transfer his money in fact he was probably very determined that he needed to do it exactly then, he believed he was doing the right thing because the scammers did such a good job on him They probably told him exactly what to expect and how to answer and the importance of keeping quiet. I hope it was an inside job and they get caught.
    Mature student 2011-2016
    Professional
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 6th Dec 18, 6:23 PM
    • 8,953 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Martin or Paul Lewis of Moneybox may very well be interested and want to take up this story.
    Originally posted by robatwork
    And BBC Watchdog, although they're off the air at the moment they may take it up now for the next series.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 6th Dec 18, 6:56 PM
    • 3,521 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    “ But family?
    Originally posted by soulsaver
    Yes. People of a certain generation had the mentality of Careless Talk Costs Lives. Consider the secrets of Bletchley Park which were kept, erm, secret even from closest family by the thousands of people who worked there for decades afterwards. If you were told something in confidence, you kept that confidence, and if you weren't told something you minded your own business and didn't ask.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver

    Very true. Mr S's (maths graduate) gran worked at Bletchley Park - but she never did talk about what she did.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 08-12-2018 at 1:35 PM.
    • CKhalvashi
    • By CKhalvashi 6th Dec 18, 7:19 PM
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    CKhalvashi
    I’m sorry for the situation that your father finds himself in.

    I just had a quick look on the FOS site for you, and section 135/9 seems relevant on this link, although not identical. https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/135/135-case-studies-about-scams.html

    I can’t find anything specifically on the IFA situation, however due to the fact that questions were not asked, it may be worth raising the question with the bank and the IFA through a formal complaint.

    I know that when I have made a transfer above a certain amount, I have been grilled big time, so someone should have questioned what was happening, especially on day 2 of the transfers taking place.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 6th Dec 18, 7:49 PM
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    sheramber
    Questions were asked.

    The financial advisor checked my father was sure and my father signed a letter of consent and the funds were duly liquidated.

    Son thinks he did get a call from the bank and he obviously gave appropriate answers
    think he may have had a call from the bank after the first payment to check this was ok.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 7th Dec 18, 11:05 AM
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    robatwork
    And BBC Watchdog, although they're off the air at the moment they may take it up now for the next series.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    I guess it's an option. A little off topic but this used to be obligatory viewing for anyone interested in consumer rights. Since Anne Robinson left it's been on a self-destruct trajectory with the newer "casual" presentation styles. The latest incarnation this series is a total car crash, the presenters awful, and unwatchable.

    I tried 10 minutes of this week's episode just to test the water. My buttocks have only recently unclenched.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 7th Dec 18, 11:44 PM
    • 552 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    Does anyone think the bank should have done more? What about the financial advisor?
    This really is a tough situation. Given the size of money involved it is worth raising this as a complaint against both the IFA and the bank (I assume the IFAs insurance would cover it if the complaint was successful?).

    But really what could anyone have done here? He was the account holder. He was fully convinced about what he was doing and would have answered any questions saying it's what he wanted to do. He signed a letter of consent, he gave permission for the tranfers. Given he was totally convinced by the FCA ploy, warnings about fraud probably fell on deaf ears.

    I can't even think about a process which would have prevented this.
    • Benbythesea
    • By Benbythesea 8th Dec 18, 11:09 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Benbythesea
    Thanks once again everyone for your comments and supportive messages. I'll go through you comments and links in more detail.

    I'm just back from seeing my dad and I took him to the pub and perked him up a bit. Its been a few weeks since it happened and because my mother has dementia he doesn't really have anyone to talk to so you can just spend your days dwelling and regretting. Anyway we aren't going down lightly.

    What is interesting is the grooming process which I've learnt more about. My dad initially wanted to confirm they were from his bank and called them back. I think they employed the method of not putting down the phone from the other end and my father probably didn't listen out for the dialling tone and they were on the line all the time. My father also claimed he was suspicious initially and did 1471 on the phone and did get an FCA phone number. Not sure about that but needs looking into perhaps.

    What I also well know is the fundamental reason for my dad to go down the chaotic road he did was fear. The fraudsters purporting to be from the FCA were threatening my father with prosecution if he didn't fully co-operate with their investigation. Under no circumstances must he discuss this with anyone because they claimed a criminal gang was working inside the back. They also claimed that my father's IFA was involved too. They successfully isolated my father and he did what they wanted like he was in a Derren Brown show.

    I think the checks at the bank were a bit weak but I know some of you will disagree. For example my father went in and said he wanted to make a transfer to a bank in Abu Dhabi for £240K. The bank clerk recognised my dad (he pays his tax bill - no more that £100) and asked him if he was satisfied it was a legitimate account. My dad said yes and it was done in a minute. He did get a call from the Bank confirming that he wanted to go ahead but no other questions asked. This was repeated twice more over two days until the money was gone. Obviously the bank will argue that 1. The account details were correct, 2. They were satisfied in my dad's identity and 3. He showed no sign of being on edge.

    The IFA did simply comply with my father's wishes and cashed-in his SIPP. I would argue that little if any due diligence was conducted by the company. My father had a 5 minute call with his adviser who asked if my father was sure. Also when they cashed in the Sipp they only applied a basic 20% of tax. This meant that my father became a high rate tax payer on the money he received. If they had applied the correct PAYE tax on the amount my father would have received less, lost less and not be facing a potentially large tax bill of 90-100k.

    Is anyone familiar with the recent Berkeley Burke v FOS ruling? Not exactly the same but it was found that even executor-only SIPP providers should ensure that their clients are not being scammed . I think if the victim in this case is found to have been poorly advised then I think it could be argued that my father has a complaint.

    Anyway lots to think about and the great thing is I'm learning a hell of a lot.

    Thanks again everyone.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 8th Dec 18, 11:20 AM
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    eskbanker
    My father also claimed he was suspicious initially and did 1471 on the phone and did get an FCA phone number. Not sure about that but needs looking into perhaps.
    Originally posted by Benbythesea
    That'll be phone number spoofing:

    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/alert-watch-out-for-new-number-spoofing-scam
    https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/problems/tackling-nuisance-calls-and-messages/phone-spoof-scam
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 8th Dec 18, 11:32 AM
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    xylophone
    For example my father went in and said he wanted to make a transfer to a bank in Abu Dhabi for £240K.
    And two more in quick succession? I am utterly flummoxed as to how this did not lead to his account being frozen subject to investigation.
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