Weʼve raised £0 to To Recover Sara's Stolen Life Savings
- Closed on Monday, 6th August 2018
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My friend Sara recently had her life savings stolen via a "conveyancing fraud". After decades of renting and saving, the solicitors that Sara had instructed had their emails hacked and cyber criminals were able to intercept her communications with her solicitors. This wasn't a case of carelessness on Sara's part, this wasn't an instance of foreign criminals emailing her from an address SIMILAR to her solicitors, the emails came from the ACTUAL address she had been emailing previously. This could happen to anyone. And there's currently nothing that can be done to stop it. Sara had >£23,000 stolen from her. This wasn't only her life savings, it was also her parents life savings.
I've known my friend Sara since we were at school. We went to the same school together, we grew up together, we shared each others triumphs and heartbreaks and I can honestly say I've never seen her this distraught. Sara always had a big heart, and it was no surprise to any of us that she grew up to be a paediatric nurse. Sara spends her days looking after sick and dying children, working for an NHS that is underfunded and overworked, living in a city where housing is increasing unattainable. To have struggled for so long, to have worked so hard and saved so frugally only to have that money stolen by career criminals is beyond heartbreaking.
I hope everyone who sees this page can contribute something to help Sara get her life back together. Most of all, she wants to pay her parents back – typical Sara, always thinking of other people first. Please don't contribute anything if you're struggling yourself, but if you can spare anything at all then I would all be eternally grateful.
Please help me prove to Sara that the good in the world can prevail over the bad.
If nothing else comes out of this page then I know Sara would have wanted to raise awareness around this issue and avoid anybody else becoming a victim to such a heinous and heartless crime.
To stop this happening to you or anyone that you know please ensure you follow the below steps when dealing with the transfer of large sums of money via a solicitor:
1) Don't ever send tens of thousands of pounds to a bank account on the basis of an email. Speak to your solicitor to confirm the details. It is very rare for such details to change - if that happens, speak to your solicitor about it, either face to face or on a phone number you have used before.
2) Do send a test amount first and then check over the phone that your solicitor has it. Even if the details haven't changed this makes sense.
3) Agree a process for payment early on. As soon as you appoint a solicitor you should liaise with them about the process, and how you want it to work. Get a hard copy of the bank details then, and store them somewhere safe.
4) If you do receive an email asking you to send money to a bank account, get in touch with your solicitor. But don't use any contact details provided in the email. They could be fake too.
What I would really like is for everyone to email your local MP and ask them to raise this issue in parliament. It is an absolute disgrace that despite reporting it to Action Fraud in January Sara was told she would have to wait 3 months for the outcome of any investigation. This just highlights the scale and frequency of these types of targeted fraud currently being carried out in the UK. It is open season on British citizens. Foreign criminal gangs know full well that our local justice system unable to protect hard working UK citizens from these cyber career criminals.
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