Hi,I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. Are you online at this time?
What is your question with regard to this incident?
Sorry for the delay.
The site archives questions, so yours will be available to experts if we meet this situation again. Unfortunately, however, except for the names involved here, which change all the time, you fell for a standard advance fee fraud.
Any time you get an unsolicited message from someone with whom you have never dealt before and which contains news which is much too good to be true, it's going to be a scam.
You would never get official notification of any award or contest you actually won via email. And when you have really won something, the money they have set aside for you is -- if real -- already yours. You never have to pay anything up front in order to claim your winnings. As you rightly knew, you don't pay taxes on money you haven't received. You pay it on actual income.
The up front fee is the #1 sign of a scam and once you are asked for one, there is no possibility that you are dealing with a legitimate enterprise. Any legitimate fees or transfer expenses would be taken out of the money they already have and you'd get the rest free and clear. The only reason for the up front fee is that you had no money ever really coming to you. The whole incident was just designed to phish for some personal identifying information from you and to steal as much of your money as you'd be willing to send them to secure your supposed award.
Your bank won't be very helpful because you authorized the withdrawal from your account and they will, as you have already learned, deny liability. Unfortunately, also, the people who do this are professional thieves who use phony names and contact information to keep from getting caught.
If you can find out who and where they really are, you'd have legal recourse. You could sue for the return of your money or seek to have them prosecuted. But finding them is going to be a job for law enforcement. Report the fraud to your local police and to ActionFraud.police.uk. The only way to recover your funds would be if law enforcement can locate your scammers and bring them to justice.
I'm very sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's the harsh reality of internet fraud where today's technology allows anybody to pretend to be anyone else on earth, when he are simply a thief hiding behind his conputer.