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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have paid a £2,500 deposit for a villa for a holiday next

Resolved Question:

We have paid a £2,500 deposit for a villa for a holiday next year. They lady with whom we have booked the villa is claiming her email had been hacked and the email that was sent to us telling us where to send the money was not from her and our £2,500 has been sent to a fraudster and she does not have it.
We have reported this to the police via their ActionFraud website. Even if it is proven that her email was hacked is the lady whom we booked the villa still liable to return our deposit as it was her email that was hacked and not ours?
Hope you can help.
Stuart Bennett
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know was it sent to an account in the UK?
Customer:

No the money was sent to an account in Spain as the villa is in Mallorca.

Customer:

Sorry, should have explained more clearly, the lady we have been dealing with is based in the UK and she is an agent for the property. The email we had from her instructed us to send the money to the owner of the property and this account was in Spain but we have had no dealings with the owner of the property.

Alex Watts :

How long after the original email with bank details did she give you the new details?

Customer:

Hi Alex. We enquired about the villa on 1/10. We had a couple of emails from the agent and on one of them she said she was having problems with her web-based email and suggested we used her husband's email. We assume that this email was from the hacker. We then corresponded further using her husband's email address and it was from this email address that the account details were sent on 6/10. The agent had said on 2/10 that she would hold the property for 72 hours which would have been until 5/10 but she waited until the evening of 10/10 to contact us again which was the day our payment cleared which is why we suspect she is involved in some way. This is am netter for the police to investigate but we need to make sure we get out deposit back regardless of whether she is involved or not.

Alex Watts : Is it the same email address the account details were sent from, ie the agent?
Customer:

We had an email from the agent suggesting we use a different email address. We then corresponded using that email address and assumed we were still corresponding with the agent as she provided additional information about the property and the area. The account details for the payment were sent from this email that the agent instructed us to use. The agent is claiming that she never sent us instructions to use a different email address and that the subsequent correspondence with that email address was not from her. Stuart.

Alex Watts :

Ok - is the agent or owner in the UK?

Customer:

The agent who we have been dealing with is in the UK. We have not had any dealings with the owner but I assume they are abroad.

Alex Watts :

Ok - its a hard one.

Alex Watts :

You can insist that the agent follows through with the booking

Alex Watts :

But to be honest getting your money back from this other person is unrealistic

Alex Watts :

That money has long gone

Alex Watts :

But you can insist that they continue with the deal.

Alex Watts :

The fact the email account was hacked is not your fault.

Alex Watts :

As such you can insist they go ahead and rent the villa, but the money is gone sadly you have paid

Alex Watts :

But it is their fault the email was hacked and you were told to pay to a different account - they should have made sure their email was secure

Alex Watts :

That is not your failt.

Alex Watts :

* fault *

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No that's fine, thanks for you advice. The agent told us that we would have to pay another deposit in order to secure the villa and has refused to accept any liability. We will therefore take action for the return of our deposit on the basis that they have refused to continue with the deal.

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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