Woman conned out of £50,000 in phishing scam

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While it leads to the breakdown in the necessary rule of law I sort of celebrate when someone who rips off the corporations who buy laws to pick our pockets.
Unfortunately it is difficult and painful to steal from the strong, so the low hanging fruit, the people who have finite lifetime earning and saving capacity are targeted for this disgusting crime.

They had an awful lot of specific information. I have to wonder if maybe they had access to the lawyer’s files?


And people think I’m a hopeless old fart for using paper checks and cash, never sending money from my bank accounts electronically.

Let 'em.

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Seems like key exhange might be a good idea in these cases.

When it’s simple enough that everyone’s grandparents can do it without thinking, then sure. As it is, I’m a software engineer and I would find it a tremendous pain to deal with keys.

When I last remortgaged, they only sent me mail via a document server that you had to log in to see. This was a pain, but I see the point now. Except the document server didn’t verify itself (apart from the url), so it wouldn’t necessarily have helped.

Many banks now show you an image+passphrase, that you have previously picked, to identify themselves and make you feel safe that it really is the bank’s website (since it had to pull the passphrase out of your records that only the bank has). It almost seems like a good solution (both sides verifying their identity), however they don’t always seem to be implemented right. For Bank Of America, you are shown the image and passphrase right after you put in your username. So if you know my username, or can guess it, you can go to the site and find out the passphrase yourself, create bankfoamerica.com, show my my image when I go to it to reassure me that you’re legit, and harvest my password when I put it in.

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I remember going through the same process when I was hit by an insured motorist. A pain, but a necessary precaution-- I was fairly compensated in the end.

I like checks, It should be a pain in the ass to spend money. That’s a feature, not a bug. And if it forces you to make 60 seconds of chitchat with the person on the other side of the counter, or think about the value of your labor, or consumerism as a way of life – also a feature.

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This has to have been an inside job, or at the very least a case of the lawyer getting hacked.

I don’t understand how the perps can get away with this. The banks know who their customers are, and can trace transactions through the banking system. That TSB account that she sent the money too must have a name and a form of ID attached…

Transferring 50k would need to be done either through SWIFT or CHAPS as well, surely? As far as I know, that takes calling the bank, though I could be wrong. Most standard current accounts will only let you transfer 10k/day via internet banking. Banks aren’t very good at giving a shit about stuff like this usually (i.e. cases where the victim willingly transferred the money); she’s lucky the BBC picked it up.

There’s a UK address, phone number and alternate email address on the whois record for barnesandpartner.com . I hope the police have looked there first…

This. Well said.

I don’t think thats the issue here. She intended to spend the money on a house and presumably had thought long and hard about the decision. Simply raising the transactions costs without addressing the larger issue of fraud does nothing.

Besides, the 419 scammers rely on the assumption that money is difficult to use in order to bilk marks out of their savings.

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