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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Dear law experts Not sure which section this belongs to

Resolved Question:

Dear law experts
Not sure which section this belongs to (property law?) so I'm asking it here.
Recently I was moving home. I found the property I liked, contacted the letting agent, arranged viewing, paid the admin fees, passed referencing, paid the first half of deposit etc. All as usual, been quite a few times through all of that.
Around the same time, the letting agent has been 'hacked', fraudsters managed to get access to the agent's email account and extracted quite a sum out of me in the form of deposit & rent payments to a fake landlord's bank account. Fraudsters used letting agent's own email account to talk to me pretending they are a staff member that I already exchanged quite a few legitimate emails before. In short, the emails that asked me to pay money into fake landlord's account came from the actual real letting agent email account, not from a third party. To me it looked like I'm still talking to the same staff member I talked to from the very beginning, there was impossible to tell the difference.
The letting agent admitted their company has been hacked and recognise that this caused a financial loss to me. However they don't agree this is their fault nor they are willing to cover the loss. They proposed to cover £2000 (out of ~ £6000 lost) as a gesture of good will but I haven't accepted that yet as I still feel cheated. I mean, it sounds wrong to me I should be paying for the agent's company security breach.
On top of that, the letting agent requested all of the referencing materials via email in the form of document scans. These include personal informations such as passport scans for me and my family members, recent payslips, recent utility bills, old and new address, etc. The fact that fraudsters hacked into agent's email account also means that they now have access to all that information too. I'm scared to death what they might be able to achieve with those in their hands.
Can you please advice, I'm totally lost.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Just to be clear, it was THEIR email system that was hacked - not yours?
Alex

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Exactly. Their email (the email of the Letting Agent company) has been hacked. The fraudsters gained access to their email account, where able to follow the email conversation as well as reply to me on the behalf of the agent.
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund of the FULL amount within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

Its not YOUR email that was hacked it was THEIRS!

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.

You can also claim compensation under the Data Protection Act which states:

13Compensation for failure to comply with certain requirements.

(1)An individual who suffers damage by reason of any contravention by a data controller of any of the requirements of this Act is entitled to compensation from the data controller for that damage.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Well, the problem is it is out of 14 days period now.I've told them I'm holding them responsible 6 days after discovering the issue. They asked me to write an official complain letter. I asked if they wanted in paper or email they requested email.I emailed official complain on the 7th day, the next day I got am knowledge they are looking into it. I believe they talked to their insurer, not sure what the outcome was though. I think insurer declined the clime.About 20 days later I finally got an official response where they say they are not responsible and not willing to cover the full loss, only a fraction of it.Is it too late do do something now?
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

No, you have 6 years to bring a claim.

They are responsible, THEY were hacked.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Alex, it does! Thank you! I'm only worried, they clime that because this was unintentional they are not responsible. Something along the lines "we didn't know about it so we couldn't prevent. we are not responsible."
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

Makes no difference, its not your fault. It was THEIR end!!!!!
Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you very much. All clear now.Totally happy with the response.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Bye
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sure. Of course!
Expert:  Ash replied 5 months ago.

Thanks. Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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