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Scary fraudsters

(31 Posts)
Jane10 Wed 06-Feb-19 10:56:22

I was talking to an IFA yesterday and he was telling me about some sophisticated new scams. Apparently hackers hack into emails to solicitors firms. These emails are often about large sums eg house sales or wills etc. The hacker then alters the email from a client to their solicitor to include new bank details and addresses ie theirs not the real clients. They use sophisticated algorithms to mirror exactly the clients usual forms of writing so look convincing. Proceeds from house sale etc then transferred to the hackers account. Nasty stuff. Obviously firms are on to this already and are taking steps to warn their clients etc but its a far cry from the old ones about 'Nigerian Princes' leaving us a fortune!

EllanVannin Wed 06-Feb-19 13:31:46

I don't bank online because my thoughts have always been that the fraudsters are one step ahead of banks and those who try to deter the worst from happening.
They're far more savvy when it comes to looking/seeing loopholes and weaknesses in any system.
You've only to look at statistics of fraud and the vast amounts that members of the public have lost to scams etc.

Technology is a curse in many areas of business.
If a kid can hack into the White House, then anything is possible. They should use these guys to catch the hackers, hahaha.

EllanVannin Wed 06-Feb-19 13:32:54

Set a thief to catch a thief !

Badenkate Wed 06-Feb-19 13:48:11

That's exactly who they do employ EllenVannin.

Pippa000 Wed 06-Feb-19 14:53:55

I was nearly caught out this way when I was buying my house, The fraudsters copied all the details from my solicitors website, even the names of the conveyancing solicitors. They even had my name and the town in which my new house is situated. The only clue was that the bank details they gave were slightly, and only very slightly different from the ones on the Letter of Engagement I received. The advice I was given is that no solicitor would e-mail and ask for funds to be transferred, if in doubt phone or visit your solicitor first.

EllanVannin Wed 06-Feb-19 14:54:18

I can believe that too Badenkate !!

Jane10 Wed 06-Feb-19 15:04:53

Gosh Pippa! Just as well you noticed. The IFA I was talking to said that he wouldn't take any email from me as an instruction. He'd phone me first to check. I should do vice versa if I received an email purporting to be from him requesting any information.

Coconut Thu 07-Feb-19 09:56:24

I send anything suspicious to [email protected] The tax scams that are coming thro offering you rebates etc I send to [email protected]
Err on the side of caution with everything these days, don’t take anything at face value.

Ramblingrose22 Thu 07-Feb-19 09:57:14

I have read about this type of scam before - I don't think it's anything new.

Jane10's IFA is right.

The advice is - if in doubt - call the solicitor to confirm the bank account details and compare them with those in the email.

Alternatively send £1 to the bank account given in the fake email and phone the intended recipient (the solicitor in this case) to confirm receipt.

GabriellaG54 Thu 07-Feb-19 10:07:31

Telephone banking with Halifax is great as they have voice recognition and you can change the recognition phrase whenever you want.
Online banking with them is secure as they have fingerprint technology and codes sent to your phone before they will let you transfer money.
Scare stories are few and far between in reality. They just make better headlines.

Annaram1 Thu 07-Feb-19 10:15:46

I had a letter yesterday from a Chinese person who claimed to be working for a Chinese bank in Hong Kong. Apparently one of their customers with a similar surname to mine died without a will and they think I can inherit his money. All I have to do is contact the person who sent me the letter and send him my bank details and I will be a millionaire.

Jane10 Thu 07-Feb-19 10:16:09

Sigh. I wasn't trying to make headlines just pass on direct information. Sounds like Pippa had actual experience of this. Not something to be dismissed as headline grabbing.

Jane10 Thu 07-Feb-19 10:17:44

Annaram1 Awwww. I almost feel sorry for them for using such a well known scam!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 07-Feb-19 10:25:54

It's awful, isn't it, you can't beat doing business in person - I think it's safer.

Witzend Thu 07-Feb-19 10:57:03

Heard about this some time ago - re solicitors and house purchases. Hence in a bit of a tizz when dds were buying and hefty sums were being moved around.
What they did to be sure, was to transfer just £10 first - and make sure it had gone to the right place! - before transferring any more.

However even IFAs can be fooled.
A relative had someone hack into his emails, and while he was on holiday and out of contact (as scamster knew from reading emails) he contacted his IFA and asked him to transfer a very large sum to a hitherto unknown account. He added that he couldn't be contacted by phone at the moment, so no,point checking!

The IFA was daft enough to do it! The money was eventually repaid, but only I think via the IFA's insurance - it had rapidly been moved out of the first a/c and out of reach.

Dh was sufficiently appalled by this to check with our own money-man, who said absolutely no way could it happen with him - there would have to be at least 6 separate checks before any such request could be acted upon.
Phew!
You really do need your wits about you.

Daisyboots Thu 07-Feb-19 11:02:19

Strangely I had an email from my solicitor dealing with our new wills yesterday asking for details of the bank accounts where our savings are held. I thought this rather odd as I have never had anything like that in any of my previous wills. After reading this I think I will ring him instead of replying to the email. No way would I send those details because they are not necessary for a will.

BRedhead59 Thu 07-Feb-19 11:08:40

I am increasingly worried by these scams because we are being forced to do everything online and many of us will lose money. Banks etc are obviously on the case but it seems so are the fraudsters keeping one step ahead. Did anyone hear of a fraudster actually being caught and going to prison? It's another reason to stay in Europe so countries can share information like this.

Witzend Thu 07-Feb-19 11:22:38

Another major scam I've heard of lately, is someone 'selling' a property they don't own, and disappearing with the proceeds!
Presumably it occurs with rental properties, though I suppose it could happen with an empty property a fraudster had somehow gained access to. And presumably the fraudster would need fake IDs in the name of the rightful owner as on the Land Reg.

However it's possible to set up an alert - free and very simple to do - with the Land Registry, so that you are notified of any activity concerning a property you own.

Witzend Thu 07-Feb-19 11:29:33

Daisyboots, that does sound dodgy! Why would anyone need that info in order to draw up a will?

If they are also going to act as executor then ultimately they'd need that info, but IMO you are wise to be very wary now.

Edithb Thu 07-Feb-19 12:17:31

Not an on-line scam, but a friend of mine was in the middle of paying for his shopping in Sainsbury’s when a man behind him pointed to a £20 note at his feet and said it was his. My friend was doubtful, but the man insisted, when he bent down to pick it up the man took his bank card from the machine, having already noted his PIN. My friend was confused and left without his card, the man chased after him and said actually it was his money. He then went on to use the card to the tune of over £1500. There was a daily limit so it didn’t all leave his account, but the bank didn’t notice unusual transactions and my friend only realised the next day as the bank text him his balance and recent transactions every day. He did get the money refunded, but please be aware if anyone hasn’t heard of this type of distraction theft.

lmm6 Thu 07-Feb-19 13:19:20

I keep money in a building society and use a book, not online. Any time I feel like it I can open my book and think oh look, there it is. Makes me happy even though my son says I'll be trying to send a telegram next!

Charleygirl5 Thu 07-Feb-19 13:32:28

I opened another bank account yesterday and was told by the personal banker that somebody from the bank would ring me later this week or next to confirm everything. He was amazed when I said I may not accept the call because it could be a fraudster. I am happy to take a small bus trip to appear at the bank in person to confirm- much safer.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 07-Feb-19 13:59:53

I ignore all the impoverished schoolmasters in Kenya, widows with four children to support in Syria etc. and all those telling me that my great-uncle in Arizona has died. Never had one as far as I know. If I feel charitable I denote to Caritas or Doctors without borders.

We did all the money matters concerning our new house via Internet banking, but put in a couple of phone calls to our bank manager first, asking him to check details .

Never had any bother with Internet banking, but yes hackers are a consideration. However, if you have a good firewall on your computer and your bank has too, it shouldn't be all that hazardous.

Elrel Thu 07-Feb-19 18:19:02

Gabriella - the Halifax telephone banking voice recognition has twice failed to accept my voice. They try to sign me up for it but then say they can't. I hadn't wanted it and don't care. The telephone banking rarely gives me long enough to key in a long number, can't seem to hear me if I say it. We were doing well last time until I was asked to reply to a Yes/No question. Twice my 'Yes' was not recognised.
Eventually I get a real live person and they are invariably cheerful and competent.

Legs55 Thu 07-Feb-19 18:37:27

I used to work for HMRC, details of refunds are never notified by email, also please report them to HMRC as they need the information to shut these scams down

I have noticed that I'm receiving less bank scam email, used to get loads even from bank I didn't useconfused

Keep alert & if in doubt don't respond, contact bank etc direct