Like many fraud victims, Simon (name changed to protect his anonymity) visited a website he had used many times before, and which he trusted to make high-value investments. Unfortunately, the site was a false front. Scammers had cloned the website, creating the perfect cover to trick unsuspecting visitors.
Commenting on the ordeal, he said: “People are losing all their money, including life savings, pension and inheritance to cloned firms. Sadly, if there is money to be made someone will do it.”
In Simon’s case, he decided to invest £40,000 in government bonds, something he’d done previously. However, he was left stunned when he was contacted by the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) who told him the company he’d invested in had cloned a regulated company’s website in order to commit fraud.
Simon originally tried to get his money back from his bank direct but was disappointed when they only refunded half of the money. He said: “My investment was made by bank transfer. Like most banks, they initially refused to accept any liability for my loss, which I didn’t accept, so I wasn’t happy with the outcome.”
Banks have a duty of care to ensure that their clients are protected from unusual activity like this, and should be alarmed by the fact that Simon did not have a history of making high-value payments to this particular account.
Reflecting on the process, Simon commented, “Looking around the internet I found CEL Solicitors, who said they dealt with scams and fraud. I had nothing to lose so I gave them a ring. They told me my bank had to protect my money and recovered all of my money. They were very helpful, efficient and understanding and I know my money would not have been recovered without their help.”
Paul Hampson, a director at CEL Solicitors, said this experience is not uncommon, “Many people feel distraught when they realise, they have been tricked out of their savings but that is why it is so important to get help. We always ask people to notify their bank in the first instance and if they’re not happy and would like further support then we can help.
With CEL Solicitors’ help, Simon was able to get the remaining £20,000 back plus interest. Upon getting a refund for the fraud from his bank with the help of CEL Solicitors, Simon commented, “I can’t recommend CEL Solicitors enough. If you are a victim of this type of fraud, then give CEL solicitors a call. You have nothing to lose but you could recover what you have lost.”
CEL Solicitors work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. If you’re unsuccessful you won’t pay a penny. CEL Solicitors can also claim damages for distress and interest (from the date the money was lost) meaning victims get close to, or in some circumstances, more money than they lost.