A Manchester woman lost £ 95,000, which she inherited from her father, in a sophisticated bank transfer fraud. After a year of struggle, she managed to recover two thirds of the money.
Sally Flood has sought help from a law firm specializing in cybercrime and data breaches, and although she is pleased to have recovered a good portion of it, she had lost after "The Year Out of Hell" and is angry that she did Left £ 35,000 out of his pocket.
While the email from her submitting attorney appears to have been hacked, she believes Lloyds Bank has questions to answer after the money has been deposited into two of its accounts and then quickly withdrawn. "What I want from them is the rest of the money I lost. I'm sure they wouldn't miss it half as much as I miss it." I'm £ 35,000 less and I'm sure that's a drop in the bucket for them, but for me it's an enormous amount of money ̵
Spool Back Until a few days before Christmas 2018, Flood was looking forward to completing the purchase of an investment property for her children with money that had recently been given to her in her father's will. At that time, she was in regular contact with her submitting attorney by email and phone.
When she received an email allegedly from her lawyer requesting a transfer, she sent the first installment – £ 50,000 – and then emailed an employee at the company's office to check if the money has been received. She received a response confirmation and paid the remaining £ 45,750 the following day, as requested. This was deposited into another Lloyds account after she was informed that the bank details had been revised due to an ongoing review.
Flood, who works at a Stockport secondary school, said her heart was down when her bank (not Lloyds) rang later saying that Lloyds had noticed a discrepancy in the payee's name. “I immediately called my lawyer just to confirm that their system had been hacked. The first email asking for the transfer looked very authentic. When I received a second email in response to mine confirming receipt of the first transfer by my lawyer, I felt reassured and made another payment.
I've learned that they can't get the remaining £ 35,000, ”she says.
Fraud in the UK payments industry has increased significantly. This type of fraud is known as "authorized push payment" fraud, and includes cases where email accounts – either by individuals or by the companies or artisans who have employed them – are hacked to trick consumers into sending large amounts to criminal accounts. Guardian Money has unveiled a number of these cases, and more than £ 1 million a day is lost through such scams.
According to Flood, a total of £ 95,750 was deposited into the two Lloyds accounts and £ 91,280 was withdrawn shortly thereafter. £ 4,470 was recovered and returned in February last year. In a letter to her MP, Lloyds said, "Unfortunately, we cannot get the money transferred from Ms. Flood back because there are no funds left on the receiving accounts."
The bank added that "due to data protection, we cannot provide any information disclose in relation to the accounts. “However, the company previously had no knowledge of fraudulent activity or concerns about how the accounts were opened or managed.
Flood decided to seek help from Hayes Connor Solicitors, who specializes in data breaches and other cyber crimes. Kingsley Hayes, the company's general manager, said: “The emails sent to my customers were very authentic and contained details of the property they had purchased and the desired completion date. So Ms. Flood had no reason to question this or to reckon with it. They had hacked their lawyer's email system. “
He says the company has investigated the crime and obtained £ 57,000 from Flood's broker because it was responsible for the lack of robust security measures in its system. "Unfortunately, since the incident happened before new consumer protection rights were introduced through the new voluntary code of conduct in late May 2019, it will be difficult to recover the remaining stolen funds," says Hayes.
This Code requires banks to reimburse affected customers who meet the criteria. In the meantime, name checks will be carried out from the end of March this year, when British bank customers send money to other people under a regime known as "confirmation of the payee".
Flood says: "There are some open questions that we would like Lloyds to answer … If they can prove that they did everything right, I would go away, but I don't think they did. "
She suggests that accounts that receive large sums of money be transferred to another. The payee name, which was then withdrawn within a short period of time," might have caused Lloyds to do some checks. "
Flood advises others to be vigilant when transferring large amounts: "This has been a lengthy and very painful struggle … Our lives have been put on hold since this happened. I blame myself and feel anxious and upset. There's a lot of money to lose, and it's even more annoying because it was money my father left us for my children's future. "
A Lloyds spokesman said to Money:" We have a lot of money sympathy for Ms. Flood as a victim of fraud. We use sophisticated, layered procedures to prevent fraudulent account applications. In this case, both accounts have passed all relevant identity and verification checks. After being informed of the fraud, we immediately acted to freeze the accounts, which allowed us to return the remaining funds to Ms. Flood. We will continue to work fully with the police on their investigation. "