Fighting the fraudsters - how you can recover your money




As many of you will already know, last weekend we became unknowingly involved in an increasingly common scam;  a fraudster had created false invoices purporting to be from us and had sent them to some of our clients, changing the bank details to their own. 

In some cases, criminals hack into email systems or servers to gain access to client details and invoices, so as soon as we became aware of this, we contacted our IT provider who assured us there had not been a breach of security in our systems.  We then posted messages warning our clients of this attempt to impersonate us, and notified the authorities.

Unfortunately, this seems to be an ever more common crime. 

The Daily Mail recently reported on a victim of such a scam, Gideon Roseman, who had paid a fake invoice for building work.  He immediately called his bank, who agreed to send an indemnity to the fraudster’s bank asking for the money to be returned.  However, banks have said that in this sort of scenario it is next to impossible to track down missing money, as it generally withdrawn so quickly.  Unhappy with this response, Gideon decided to take matters into his own hands.

That same day, he got on a train to the High Court in London, where he requested that the fraudster’s bank account was frozen immediately.  Although it is a case of simply turning up and filling in a form (N244 form), it contains legal information so you’d be wise to seek advice from a solicitor.  Gideon already had experience in this field, and thanks to the documentary evidence he supplied to the judge, the court granted his wish.

When he returned home, he found further emails from the fraudster requesting more money, and by playing along, Gideon succeeded in gathering details of further linked accounts.  Once again he was back on the train and managed to get those accounts frozen too.

A few days later, back in court, Gideon requested statements and details from all the linked accounts, and using that information he finally recovered nearly all of the money that had been stolen.

Gideon said: “Hopefully, I’ve shown that despite what the banks might say, it is possible to track down cash after it’s disappeared and get the money back.”

Gideon’s Six-Step Guide to Recovering Money:

  1. Immediately phone your bank
  2. Contact a solicitor
  3. Get a court order
  4. Obtain fraudster’s bank details
  5. Return to court (if needed)
  6. Analyse fraudster’s statements 

Although this article is a little sobering, reminding us that banks are not always effective in their handling of such cases, it does give us hope that there are usually still ways to recover stolen money if you act quickly enough.

As for our situation, we will never use an email to notify you of an important change such as a new bank account.  If you’re ever unsure about an invoice that purports to be from us, please call us on 01208 74615 and we will be happy to advise.

The full article from The Daily Mail can be read by clicking here.

Stay vigilant!



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