Lancs man loses thousands after falling victim to online holiday home scam

·2-min read
Skelmersdale man loses thousands after falling victim to online scam
Skelmersdale man loses thousands after falling victim to online scam

A Lancashire man is taking legal action after falling victim to an online holiday scam which left him more than £4,000 out of pocket.

The 58-year-old, from Skelmersdale, is bringing a complaint against Barclays bank with the help of his solicitors, Liverpool-based High Street Solicitors, to the Financial Ombudsman Service for refusing to refund him after he fell victim to a push-payment scam.

The father-of-four found a holiday home in Bulgaria on Ebay, and paid seven £300 instalments into a bank account.

He was in regular contact with the scammer and only when they failed to provide vital details such as information on any bills or arrange to exchange the keys, he realised that he had been scammed.

The gentleman has received a refund for the instalments he paid through his Halifax bank account, but Barclays has refused to help.

A total of £4,200 has been lost via payments made through his Barclays bank account.

Barclays has also refused to investigate the matter any further, but the 58-year-old took precautionary measures and believed that Ebay was a trusted site.

The bank also didn’t raise any concerns or question the ongoing payments despite the gentleman never having made regular payments this high before.

Authorised push payment fraud is where victims are persuaded to send money to scammers.

The scammer gains the victims confidence or appears to be someone they would trust.

Banks can only refuse to reimburse stolen funds where someone has shown a very significant degree of carelessness. If they do refuse, a complaint can be made to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

High Street Solicitors is urging anyone in similar circumstances, where their bank has refused to refund them, to get in touch with them where they can provide advice and support in submitting a formal complaint.

Larissa Ellis, head of legal operations, said: “Sadly, we are seeing more and more people falling victim to online scams where they are enticed into making payments for something they believe to be genuine.

“It is our aim to assist the claimants in recovering their losses plus interest, along with providing a listening ear.

“We understand that some situations are difficult to discuss and it can be very upsetting being a victim of push-payment fraud, however we urge any victims of this who have complained to their bank and been refused a refund to get in touch.”