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Mrs Bear

Frightening Financial Scam

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Some relatives had an email account hacked. They think they must have been 'watched' online for a while, because the scam then occurred while they were away for a few days. The scam artist emailed their IFA, asking him to liquidate their assets (a considerable amount) and send it to a different a/c from their own. He added that 'they' would be out of contact for a few days. IFA was apparently all too eager to oblige. Relatives came back to find a hefty chunk of assets gone, and the a/c to which the funds had been sent, cleaned out and closed.

Mr B subsequently emailed the org in charge of our portfolio to check whether this sort of thing could ever happen. Reply gave a whole list of half a dozen checks that should certainly prevent it.

Suggest that anyone to whom this sort of thing could conceivably happen, check with their IFA or whoever, that they have plenty of checks in place.

Should stress that relatives in question are not remotely daft, naive, clueless, or non internet savvy, which makes it all the more scary.

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This is a common type of attempted fraud. Someone contacts a financial institution and tries to get a withdrawral made by bank transfer to a new bank account. It doesn't usually succeed becuase banks and stock brokers usually make a HUGE deal of changing withdrawral bank account details. I could well imagine, however, that a sole-operator IFA may not be sufficiently clued up about fraud to be aware of this type of scam, and may not have a proper policy for change of bank account details.

Another very common variant is to contact a large company that is likely to be paying a large invoice (e.g. a well known company is having building work done at their office - and you can see the building contractor's name on the vans parked outside). Someone writes to the finance department, giving their "new" bank detials for the next invoice. You'd be amazed at often the invoice gets paid into the scammer's bank account.

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Some relatives had an email account hacked. They think they must have been 'watched' online for a while, because the scam then occurred while they were away for a few days. The scam artist emailed their IFA, asking him to liquidate their assets (a considerable amount) and send it to a different a/c from their own. He added that 'they' would be out of contact for a few days. IFA was apparently all too eager to oblige. Relatives came back to find a hefty chunk of assets gone, and the a/c to which the funds had been sent, cleaned out and closed.

Mr B subsequently emailed the org in charge of our portfolio to check whether this sort of thing could ever happen. Reply gave a whole list of half a dozen checks that should certainly prevent it.

Suggest that anyone to whom this sort of thing could conceivably happen, check with their IFA or whoever, that they have plenty of checks in place.

Should stress that relatives in question are not remotely daft, naive, clueless, or non internet savvy, which makes it all the more scary.

what ISP was providing the EMail account...was it one of those free gmail/hotmail types?

Doing anything financial or secret on those accounts is really daft IMPO

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Even if it was not an inside job, surely the IFA is liable since the account holders did not issue an instruction or authorise the action.

I would have thought so, but I would expect the IFA to be insured, and could therefore be running an insurance scam.

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