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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 45349
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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There, I had a call out of the blue on Wednesday (11.11.15)

Customer Question

Hi there,
I had a call out of the blue on Wednesday (11.11.15) from a ***** *****son saying he is a lawyer for HMRC. He said he has had £10,200 sitting in an account since 28.8.15 for me that has been won from Spanish courts, did I know anything about it. I immediately thought of the holiday resale companies I have had many a call from promising me to get my money back. (I've paid only one company, and then learnt my lesson.) He said I have only 5 working days till the money is returned to Spain, so I need to act quickly. He gave me the number of a David Richards, who works in the Notary Office in Spain to ring, as the money can't be released till I've spoken to him. I rang him and he explained he couldn't release the money as I owe court costs of £1430. He also explained that due to money laundering laws, any amount over 10k is held till it can be verified. I asked the obvious of why not take the fees from the £10,200 but that can't be done as the money is now in UK.
I don't have a spare £1430 and told him so, so he 'kindly' reduced the amount to £800 now and the rest when I get the 10k.
Naturally I am extremely cautious and have asked many questions. He is exasperated with me, as is ***** *****son. I'm to pay the money by bank transfer this afternoon to a private account because I'm paying a Public Sector institution, which don't have business accounts, apparently.
My questions are, why did it take so long for them to contact me? I've asked Mr Grayson this and he said they have been trying to contact me and my case has now been passed to him.
Would HMRC ring out of the blue?
How do I and can I confirm if Mr Grayson is a lawyer for HMRC?
They are both refusing to send anything by email due to data protection act.
According to Mr Grayson, if the money 'goes awry', I can get my £800 back and I am sounding paranoid about being so cautious.
Mr Richards says that if they were fraudsters, they would have given up on me with all the questions and reservations I have and just hung up and moved to the next person.
It all seems like another scam to me, but I have no way of confirming if this is true.
Please can you help?
Kind regards,
Diana Morgan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you only communicated with these people by phone or do you have email addresses too?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've only spoken on the phone. I've tried to get them to email me but won't 'due to data protection act'.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
None of this is genuine. This is a scam. Such types of scams, known as ‘advance-fee fraud’ are unfortunately extremely common these days and many unsuspecting people fall for them.
The best way to spot these is by identifying specific 'red flags' that are almost always present. The following are the most common hallmarks of such scams and if they sound familiar then you can almost guarantee you are involved in a scam:
• Someone contacts you and promises you a large sum of money. You may have been involved in something in the past, such as the timeshare industry, but they can obtain your details from public lists of ongoing disputes.
• Before you are able to receive the promised amount, you are asked to pay a sum of money for various reasons, usually as clearance fees, administrative costs, taxes, etc. This is the advance-fee part of the scam.
• Tempted by the potential return, you pay the money in good faith.
• Once the money has been sent, the fraudster either stops all contact and the money never materializes, or they return and ask for further payments due to new unsuspected issues.
Other issues here are that there is no person named ***** *****son registered with the Law Society. If he was genuinely a lawyer with HMRC he must be registered with the Law Society but he is not so this is not a genuine legal person you are talking to.
DO NOT proceed any further with this. DO NOT send any information and certainly do not send money if asked to. Cease all contact with the other party and do not communicate any further with them.
If you wish to report this, all scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300(###) ###-####or by visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud. You may also report this to your local police station as they are capable of dealing with scam reports, although they will rarely get involved unless you have suffered any losses.
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 45349
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Fraud Examiner Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I kind of knew it was a scam, but they have been very persistent and had me wavering. You have put my mind at rest in confirming that ***** *****son is not registered with the Law Society.
I did ring Action Fraud on Wednesday, and I will ring them again with further information after my calls today.Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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