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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45363
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My daughter has become a victim of an online (e-bay) scam in

Resolved Question:

My daughter has become a victim of an online (e-bay) scam in which she has lost £7400.00
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What would you like to know about this situation?

Customer:

Is there anything more we can do to prosecute this perpetrator? We know that the bank into which the money was paid is in Leicester but e-bay and the police don't fill us with confidence because of the nature of the scam.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Customer:

Are you there?

Ben Jones :

I am

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

won't be long

Customer:

thank you

Ben Jones :

First of all I need to be honest and not give you any false hoped about successfully resolving this but as someone who has been involved as a fraud examiner I do know that it is rare for victims of such scams to recover all or even part of their losses. So do read the rest of my advice on that basis.


 


In this particular case, ebay would not be of much help, that is almost certain. This will not be covered by their buyer protection policies as the transaction was conducted outside of ebay and not via paypal. Regardless of whether she followed an invoice which she believed was from ebay, all they would be interested in is that she did not pay via the formal methods that would entitle her to the protection they offer.


 


The next is the police – whilst they can investigate this further and take any action they deem appropriate, they cannot be forced to pursue this if they believe it I not something that they can do. You can of course use them as a resource and report this to them, but what happens next is really down to them. They have a duty to help you but at the same time they will be conscious of their own resources and the formation they have and what they can do with it. As such, it is a possibility that they could eventually decide they cannot assist further and drop the case.


 


This would leave you in a difficult position because you then would not have much you can work with to pursue the matter further. The usual step would then be to make a court claim against the fraudsters but you need their details first and the bank would not just release these due to data protection issues. The police can get these details but only if they are going to pursue this themselves. Even if you did have them, legal action does not guarantee a positive outcome, the defendants can easily ignore the whole process and then she would be stuck with a judgment in her favour which she has to try and enforce by paying more money to try different options, like bailiffs, etc.


 


So these are the realistic options and I understand they do not provide a guaranteed positive outcome and at this stage the police would be your best option to pursue.

Customer:

Ok, thank you. This is exactly what we have been lead to understand from both parties - e-bay and the police. It appears it pays to be criminal :-(

Ben Jones :

Unfortunately so, to be honest the best way to cut their income is to become educated on how to spot scams - you do not stop them by pursuing them, which is often very difficult, but by cutting their income options

Customer:

Yes, we realise that. Unfortunately this was the first time my daughter bought something (actually nothing) on e-bay and I was out of the country so not there to monitor her transaction. She is fully conversant now with how to keep herself safe on e-bay and obviously will not make the same disastrous mistake again. In the meantime, the person who scammed her is enjoying her hard-earned (and saved) cash. All wrong.

Ben Jones :

I fully agree and unfortunately in these circumstances many people have learnt through their mistakes. I have dealt with people who have lost over £100k (all life savings actually) with not a penny to be seen ... it is how things are in the fraud world though

Customer:

I realise we are simply exchanging views here and none of it will be worthwhile to either of us but, what a strange world we live in when criminals can find a way to realise a lucrative existence at other people's expense and there is not anything that we can do to bring them to justice. I won't bore you with the details but I can assure you my daughter is not a stupid person, indeed she has a science degree, but she fell foul of this individual because - as they do - he convinced her that what she thought she was buying was all executed in a bona fide (sp?) manner.

Customer:

In any case, thank you for your advice. At least we will leave it to the police and see what transpires.

Ben Jones :

You do not have to be stupid in any sense of the word to become a victim of such scams - it is just a matter of knowing what to look for - if you have never been involved in a scam or read anything about it, then it is very easy to become the victim of one. Hence why the best way to avoid them is to become aware of them and of ways of spotting them.

Customer:

Quite. Thank you.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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