UK woman loses home purchase deposit to phishing email

uk woman loses home purchase deposit to phishing email american advisors group
American Advisors Group/Flickr
A woman in the UK has been scammed out of her life savings through a simple phishing email orchestrated by cyber criminals.

Londoner Vivian Gabb, 59, received an email that she thought was from her lawyer, she told BBC News. Gabb was in the middle of buying a house and the email claimed she needed to transfer her deposit of nearly £50,000 ($78,000), which she did.

Little did she know her email account had been allegedly hacked and monitored by cyber criminals who pounced on the opportunity to siphon off such a large sum of money from one victim. The criminals had set up their own bank account at TSB under the same name as Gabb’s lawyer, Chris Smee.

The fraudulent email featured familiar and friendly language such as “Dear Viv” used in previous legitimate emails, which fuels her belief that her emails were spied on. “We have changed who we bank with, I forgot to inform you of the changes in the email I sent you yesterday,” read the fake email before providing the new details.

A couple of days after the transaction, Gabb realized Smee’s firm Barnes & Partners had not received the money. When she contacted her bank, it became clear that she was the victim of a scam and the criminals had already made off with the money from their fake account. Gabb, a self-employed Pilate’s teachers and tennis coach, says her banks, Halifax and TSB, are unable to do anything about it.

“Neither bank seems very troubled by my predicament. I am absolutely at my wits’ end with what has happened to me. There is no system of redress and I seem to meet a closed door every way I turn,” she told the Daily Mail.

“Halifax has categorically told me they do not consider themselves to be in any way responsible and TSB will not talk to me due to data protection issues,” says Gabb.

Halifax has said that this is a case of social engineering and it looks at every instance individually. The Metropolitan Police in the UK have also said that it can pursue the criminals but refunds and financial recovery is a matter “between the customer and the bank”.

Phishing campaigns of this size are usually targeted at businesses transferring large amounts of money so this makes Vivian Gabb’s predicament unusual. However once cyber criminals find a potentially lucrative individual in their trawls, they’ll put in some extra effort to land a big payload.

Computing

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.
Gaming

Niantic promises to make Pokémon Go less troublesome for homeowners

Niantic is looking to settle the lawsuits filed by angry homeowners who were affected by hordes of Pokémon Go players trespassing on their properties. Niantic promised to resolve complaints within 15 days, among other things.
Cars

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in February 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Computing

RTX might be expensive, but the 16 series could have the best Nvidia Turing GPUs

Set to debut at a step below the RTX 2060 on the price and performance spectrums, the GTX 1660 Ti and its other 16-series brethren could be Nvidia's killer mid-range cards of 2019 — especially with Tensor Core-powered DLSS.
Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will be powerful, and they might be launched as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far, based on both leaks and the recent…
Computing

With no plans for merging operating systems, Apple opts to combine apps instead

Apple is working on combining all of the the apps it offers to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users by 2021. App developers will soon be able to build and submit one version of their apps to be used by Apple product users.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Computing

Amazon takes $200 off Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air with retina display

Amazon is taking $200 off Apple's latest MacBook Air. This MacBook Air has 13-inch retina display, a built-in FaceTime HD camera, and that classic lightweight wedge shape the Air is loved and known for.
Deals

Samsung drops a solid $100 discount on the Chromebook Pro

If you're in the market for a new laptop, but can't afford to drop $1,000 on one of the best models out there, Chromebooks are an excellent option. Right now, Samsung is offering $100 off the Samsung Chromebook Pro.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.