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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10817
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I paid for a course advertised by Mariam Mola of

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Hi there,I paid for a course advertised by Mariam Mola of MentorMatcher back in December. The Mentor Masterclass was meant to be 5 days and in February. On the run up to the course I heard nothing about where it was or the itinerary, even after asking many times.When it came to a week before, I called them to ask for details again and explained that I couldn’t stay in London where the course was (all options of places to stay that I could afford had gone) and I’d have to commute daily by train from Brighton (another big expense)Mariam asked if I’d like to change to the May Masterclass and she would offer accommodation at no extra cost.The May dates are next week and after asking daily for information, I have nothing.The cost was £1200 which I paid via bank transfer.I even got in touch with Mariam as I was worried about the reports online that she is a serial fraudster (this was after I had paid her - I had no reason to believe she was bad) and she talked her way out of it.What can I do?
I need my money back from this woman. I again have been priced out of the accommodation market for next week and I don’t even know if the course exists because I never get any information from her or her assistant.Is this fraud?
Or at least customer dissatisfaction - I’ve paid (a lot) for something I’m not getting.Help please!Many thanks,Jennifer

I have been asked to look at this for you.

Looking at this article, it seems that she is a serial fraudster and therefore, the chance of you getting your money back is remote.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/28/con-artist-who-tricked-her-way-into-the-hearts-of-the-rich-and-f/

Because you have heard nothing, I would tell her that unless you hear by the end of the day, you are going to refer the matter to the police & Action Fraud. I can see no point in messing about any further and I wouldn’t accept any excuses.

Get if you had paid by credit card, (always recommended in cases like this) you could have filed a section 75 Consumer Credit Act claim and you would have got your money back from the credit card company. Even if you only paid a deposit by card, you can get the full amount back from the credit card company.

Of course, you can issue Small Claims Court proceedings quickly and easily here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk if you warn her that unless you hear from her within the next 7 days, you will do so but I think the chance of getting the money back is remote and it could be several months perhaps 8/10/12 before it gets to court.

I’m sorry, I know it’s not the answer you wanted.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! (Although there is an incentive scheme where the more five-star ratings I get, I do actually get a pat on the head! :-)) All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you.

If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Fes,Thank you for your reply and for the ideas of where to go with this next.Is it true that she can’t be stopped from doing this any more? If she’s continuing to deceive people, it feels wrong that she would get my money, and no consequences. I worry that she’ll never stop.Or will she get something against her name with Police and Acrion fraud that you mentioned?And what do you advise with speaking to the press? (Maybe a bad idea but I wonder...?)I am super happy to send a review. As an online retailer I know the importance! (And I want you to get your pay on the head too!)Best wishesjen
Ca
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
pat on the head (pay is better in the wallet)

If she continues to commit fraud blatantly, she will eventually end up in prison not necessarily because of the nature and size of the fraud, because of the continuing and blatant nature of her ignorance and disregard for the law.

You will sometimes see for example that the penalty range for a particular offence would be perhaps from a fine to several years in custody.

It isn’t just the size of the problem, (one huge fraud) it could be systematically ripping lots of people off for a relatively small amount of money. On subsequent offences with the same thing, the penalty becomes bigger.

By all means leak to the press but just be careful that you don’t say anything which is defamatory.

Thank you for the pat on the head. It’s not showing up on the Just Answer rating service yet but there may be a delay.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information - you’ve been very helpful.
I’ll atart to do what you have suggested.Have a wonderful weekend - Jennifer

I am glad to help. Enjoy the good weather while it lasts

FES