The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Tele­graph Money has heard from nu­mer­ous home buy­ers who were left with no one to turn to after be­ing conned into trans­fer­ring money to the ac­counts of cy­ber crim­i­nals, los­ing an av­er­age of about £100,000.

When Ellen Wright dis­cov­ered that she had been duped into pay­ing a fraud­ster the £137,000 in­tended for the pur­chase of a flat in Lon­don, she called her bank, First Di­rect. But as it was 6.40pm on a Fri­day she was told it would have to wait un­til the next morn­ing.

Vi­vian Gabb was robbed of al­most £50,000 by a crim­i­nal pre­tend­ing to be her so­lic­i­tor. Her bank, Hal­i­fax, said: “While we sym­pa­thise with Mrs Gabb’s sit­u­a­tion, [we] made the pay­ment in ac­cor­dance with her prop­erly au­tho­rised in­struc­tions.”

An­drew Doyle and Su­san Paul had more than £200,000 stolen over one Easter week­end. They had in­tended to use the money to buy their first home to­gether.

The week after the fraud was com­mit­ted the cou­ple’s con­veyanc­ing firm, To­tal Con­veyanc­ing Ser­vices, added a disclaimer to its email com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­clud­ing the words: “TCS will not ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity if you trans­fer money into an in­cor­rect ac­count”.

In July, Tele­graph Money dis­closed that one in three cases of con­veyanc­ing fraud was never in­ves­ti­gated by the po­lice, de­spite the huge sums in­volved.

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