Online Robbery

As time has gone on there has been an agenda to wipe out cash from the system; this has been so it, and we, can be controlled.  As a consequence of this so much is now transacted online and cybercrime is rapidly on the rise.  Online no cars, arms, or threat of immediate capture exist.  Thieves now have the whole world to operate from, and have time to evade capture.

A recent crime which caught my eye was published in a well known consumer magazine.  A couple were purchasing a property and were nearing close to exchange.  The accounts department from the solicitor’s office called them up and said they were now in a position to accept the monies for exchange.  The couple asked a few questions, although the answers were unclear, this was simply put down to the accounts department not knowing the intricacies of the transaction.  Consequently, on a Friday afternoon the exchange money was transferred.

Come Monday morning when they called the solicitor’s office they discovered the monies had not been received.  It appeared they had been scammed.  This scam typically happens on a Friday giving the thieves a couple of days of breathing space to wipe their foot prints and ‘escape’.

It transpired their emails had been intercepted, and they had been targeted.  When they contacted the bank, after some investigation the bank only gave back half of the £80K they had lost, citing that there was a warning message which appears before the transfer which advises them to ring the solicitor’s office before doing the transfer.  To be fair, one hardly reads these messages nowadays, and they are so common it almost becomes like background noise.  The consumer magazine who published the article chose to intercede and managed to get the bank to recompensate them with the full amount.  The reason given was that the elaborate and sophisticated nature of the crime outweighed the bank’s in app warning.

There are a couple of things one can do to avoid being the victim of crimes such as these.  Although, of course it’s easy to advise in hindsight.  When you are in the heat of a deal, these are not the first things which pop up in your psyche.  The first is for you to ring the lawyer’s office when making the transfer; the second is to transfer £1 check this has gone through to the correct account, before transferring the whole amount.

The above is meant more for buyers who are using a solicitor for the first time.  When we use the same lawyers regularly, we would have the sort code and account number in the system, and often would know the key personnel in the firm.

As time goes on crimes like this will become more and more wide spread.

Suresh Vagjiani
Suresh Vagjiani
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