This is a series of steps for attempting to recover money stolen by fraudsters. It has been created by Barrister Gideon Roseman following his skirmish with fraudsters. You can read about that at fightback.ninja/amateur-detective-recovers-stolen-money/
- Immediately phone your bank and ask to speak with the fraud team
Explain what has happened and demand they immediately contact the fraudster’s bank, i.e. the bank you transferred your money to.
- Immediately contact a solicitor or barrister who can accept instructions directly from members of the public (or alternatively you can attempt to do this yourself). Ask them to immediately make an application to freeze the fraudster’s bank account and any other bank account that the fraudster has with their bank. The application should include a request for an order that the fraudster’s bank provides the following information:
- all contact details (mobile phone, home phone, email address, residential address etc.) for all signatories to the fraudster’s bank account and any other bank account held in the fraudster’s name or any other signatory to this bank account that is held at the bank
- all bank statements for the fraudster’s bank account and any other bank account to which the fraudster or any other signatory has with the bank in question for a period of 6 months; and
- the current balance of all bank accounts with the bank that is in the fraudster’s or any other signatory’s name.
- Once you get hold of the court order, this will need to be immediately emailed to the fraudster’s banks’ ‘court orders’ team who can process it. You can ask your bank for this email address.
- As soon as you receive the information from the fraudster’s bank, consider the following points:
(i) has your money been transferred or paid to any recognisable company you can contact, such as a known retailer
(ii) if you can identify a company that has received your money, you can then contact this company, explain what has happened and request they either cancel the transaction made by the fraudster or request them to hold onto the money they have received and
(iii) has the money been transferred to other bank accounts.
- If your money has been transferred out of the fraudster’s bank account and into another bank account, you have the option of returning to court and making an application for the information set out above and repeating the process set out above.
- When you have received the fraudster’s bank account statements, try to work out the dates and times of the transfers out of their accounts. Your bank will be under a duty to contact the fraudster’s bankers, who will then freeze the fraudster’s account.
If your bank has failed to act within a reasonable period of time after you have notified them of the fraud, which has enabled the fraudster to transfer your money without a trace, it is likely that your bank will have breached their duty and will have to compensate you.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.