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Some time ago, I spoke to you about losing our money through Barclay's Bank. We were buying a caravan on an Internet site, and the deal was supposed to be carried through a legitimate freight firm called Cargoes Ltd in England. We did a company search to find out if the Freight firm was of good reputation and were satisfied from what we saw. Cargoes Ltd. explained via email that they would be using a recommended freight firm, here in Australia to forward the van to us on the East coast from Perth Western Australia. The Purchase money for the van, was to be held in a holding account until we approved of it's release. The account for Cargoes Ltd. was held at Barclays Bank in Soho Square in London. We also checked this out and found that to be true. We went to our bank here in Australia and asked them for advice - and having looked at the precautions we had so far taken - they said everything seemed ok. We had International Money Transfers drawn from our bank for the purchase price of the caravan and the freight insurance (which we were assured we would get back - once the van was delivered safely)The money transfers were made out to Cargoes Ltd. We were scammed - Barclay's Bank had allowed someone (an individual) to open a trading account in the same branch and call themselves Cargoes Ltd. and attach an IBAN number to the account to steer the money into another account which had nothing to do with Cargoes Ltd. When we found out, we asked the bank to investigate - but their reply was that they would not look into the dealing of the account in question - because the account holder had privacy rights too. We argued for months after this, that this account was scamming tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands of dollars from Australians and New Zealanders who have been caught in this scam. We reported everything to the UK fraud squad and were told that we probably wouldn't be contacted back, as they only collate information and pass that on to another Investigation Authority - who's job is to apprehend the criminals - not to recover the stolen money!!! I have kept all contact with Barclay's Bank - including their responses. The police would not become involved - they don't investigate cyber crime. We asked the bank to formally contact the owner of the account and request that the money be directed back to us - as it did not end up at Cargoes Ltd. as addressed. They suggested that we contact our bank here in Australia and ask them to formally request Barclay's Bank to go through this procedure. I have an email from Michael Loft (the owner of Cargoes Ltd.) which quite clearly states that he was contacted by his bank to inform him days before - that Barclay's Bank had already closed that trading account after privately investigating it themselves!!! How on earth could we request money to be transferred back, when they knew that they had already closed that account? Not that we ever expected them to transfer the money back - but it took away our opportunity of having these people pursued for what they stole from us. I contacted the bank and expressed our absolute disgust in the way they had handled this matter - and their response was that they had investigated it themselves and had found nothing wrong in what they had done. (whatta Surprise!)and that as far as they were concerned - the matter was now closed, but we could contact the FOS if we felt that we were unfairly treated in any way. We have reported it to the FOS - but I fear this will be another waste of time. These people "Don't Care" It's not their money that has been stolen. I have spoken to numerous other Australians who have lost their money in this scam. My argument with the Bank - not only brought into question their inadequate security systems - but also begged an answer as to why I should accept that my money - which was clearly addressed to Cargoes Ltd. did not end up in their account? And why would I accept that the Bank is not responsible for aiding and abetting criminal activity behind the screen of the bank? They did not try to assist in any way - in fact they questioned whether or not we already had the goods that were promised! It somehow makes me more than a little concerned that someone within the folds of the Bank is assisting with these criminal activities! I beleive that Barclay's Bank are responsible for the theft of our money, and should pay it back. Do you agree? Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Yes, as a matter of fact - I spoke to you about this approximately 5 -6 weeks ago. Not that I would expect you to remember as I understand you are very busy in many matters. But I would appreciate your professional opinion in this matter.
Brian Quinn - Australia
I'm still waiting on a reply. Have I done something wrong?
For UK Justice Only - I tried to report this to the Police - but they said they do not pursue anything to do with Cyber crime (or Fraud) They suggested that I report this to the Action Fraud Squad - which I already had.
You also mention to launch a Civil claim- please pardon my unintended ignorance of the complexities of the Law process - But Who would I launch this Civil Action Against?
The Bank has closed the account of the person who was assuming the identity of Cargoes Ltd. and probably long gone.
No doubt the account was opened with false identity - but how the Bank processors allowed moneys to be directed to an account that did NOT truely bare the name of Cargoes Ltd, is surely a security breach by the Bank - is it not?
It would seem that I have no one to go after - other than the Bank - and considering it's responsibility of duty of care, and the fact that the monies were addressed to Cargoes Ltd. and were not deposited into that account - and the fact that they did not request the monies back before closing that account. Do you not think that it is reasonable to consider that the Bank is at Fault in these instances? Should my Civil Action be Launched against The Bank? Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX Quinn - Australia P.S. - please accept my appologies for the time delay in getting back to you - You are 11 hours behind us here - and sometimes it's rather awkward to be connected at the same time.
The person we made the International Money Transfers out to was Cargoes Ltd. I have spoken to Mr Michael Loft and his accountancy firm, it would do no good to pursue them - they did not get this money. The bank would not release any details of the account holder.
I would prefer to sue the bank for negligence - because I really do believe that their security systems are fairly poor - if they can allow someone to come in off the street - open an account and receive payments that are clearly addressed to another registered business within their own branch. Surely the processors must have alerts that come up if the names of the account holders and the trading business names and registrations do not match? How poor must the security systems of the Bank be? That cannot happen here in Australia - I know - because I have been through the processes of opening a business trading account. What should I do to start the process of claiming negligence against the bank? Also I ask the question - how is it that they can take upon themselves to act as Banker and Policeman too - when they investigate internally and decide to close an account and allow thieves to get away scott free? - Brian Quinn
So - just to clarify your suggestion.
I lodge a Civil Claim - against the Bank????
Yes - it did.
I will lodge a Civil Claim against the Bank soon.
I believe they have a "Duty of Care" that I will challenge.
It's no good - just to lose someones money that was correctly addressed to one of their own clients and then - say it's not our responsibility.
As a Bank - they are governed under a "Duty of Care" and in this case I suggest that duty of care was not excersized.
I'll keep you informed if you wouldn't mind and let you know how they respond.
Do you have a direct email address - that I can contact you on?
Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX Quinn