Dubai Internet Scams - Banks Closed all my Accounts.

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by thespraytanshop, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. thespraytanshop

    thespraytanshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 2
    I want to warn everyone about the Scams from dubai targeting UK internet businesses.

    If you have heard about it great, but if like me you haven't then take heed as it has the potential to screw up your entire life even if you find out half way through it is a scam.

    I deal with Dubai a lot and over the last year had much interest in people wanting to become distributors of my product. I sell spray tan kits to dubai about 3-4 times a month, mainly to ex-pats.

    It came as no surprise, when I received an enquiry for one of my spray tan kits that cost £795. I was asked what the price was and I replied back.

    A few days later I got an e-mail back saying they wanted 100, no requests for further discounts or anything. My business has been struggling as the banks have dried up most lending avenues so me and my business partner saw this as a lifeline. After all Dubai is a very rich country right?

    I sent the invoice in the belief that I will only get excited when the money from this order hit my account and give us the lifeline we desperetly needed.

    I spoke to a supplier about the order that told me it may be a scam, so I googled it only to find it was too good to be true. Basically they pay more than the invoice amount into the bank and then request the difference back to them by BACS. However they have been paying cheques in to the bank in the UK. Now obviously if the cheque did hit my account I would have let it bounce and thought nothing of his request for the repayment of the overpayment as the cheque would bounce anyway - right?

    An e-mail a few days later confirmed my suspicions that it was a scam - the order was reduced to 40 units and he said 'please confirm receipt of £79,500'.

    No cheque had hit my account and to be fair I forgot about it.

    Then last thursday i tried to use my debit card online and it declined (my personal bank). I tried to go online and look at my account and could not access it so I called them up presuming the systems had gone down.

    I was told then that they had suspended ALL my bank accounts and gave no explanation as to why. I had no cash, no means of paying for anything and no warning. I was told to go to my local branch which was going to be the next day - I had no cash, no petrol and no food in to feed my kids (everything I buy I pay for by card!).

    I went into my bank Barclays and saw a customer services manager who told me a large cheque had been paid into my account and that it was flagged as a fraudulent cheque and they had suspended ALL my accounts until further investigations were completed. I explained the story to him and asked how a LIMITED business bank account that the cheque got paid into meant that my PERSONAL bank accounts with them also got investigated!!

    Anyway after being treated like a criminal I finally withdrew some cash.

    The next day i went in for more cash and they informed me that they were giving me 14 days notice that they intend to close my accounts on the 30th April!!! To be fair I wasn't bothered as the way they treated me why the hell would I use Barclays again. Then on Monday I went to get a new bank account, I got declined at every bank bar RBS and even then I only got a basic account (i had the Premier Life account at Barclays). Then 3 days after I transferred all my payments and direct debits to the RBS they closed my account.

    My business partner tried to open a new business account for us, all got refused because barclays have flagged us now with 'Fraud'.

    I have no means of paying anything at the minute, my rent is now overdue and I have to try pay it out of my mums account. I can't pay my suppliers and I can't pay my basic bills!! I can't even now receive any money so I am so broke I am near to tears. The money from my Child maintenance won't pay into any other account other than one with my name :(.

    I don't know or begin to understand why I am being treated like this. I have been with barclays for 7 years!! My accounts were always in good order.

    I have a lloyds account but the question is how long before that gets shut down if they spot this fraud link.

    I have played hell with Barclays who only on Thursday said I could open a complaint that takes 5 days to complete. All I want is for them to remove the fraud link but i think its too late now.

    The only option I now have is become completly dishonest and get a new name and start again. The financial ombudsmen won't help for 8 weeks.

    Moral of the story - Don't let anyone have your bank details even for business, because it can effect you personally. I can't even feed my children at the minute as i have no money so I have had to send them to live with their dad and next week I will get evicted from my home as I have no where to pay my money into!

    I don't even have the money to open an offshore account which will now be my only legal option :(
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: thespraytanshop Member since: Sep 26, 2009
    #1
  2. sphynx

    sphynx UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 9
    This is a very bizarre situation, why would Barclays consider you fraudulent, if the cheque was paid into your business account by a third party?
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: sphynx Member since: May 20, 2010
    #2
  3. Atilla

    Atilla UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,070 191
    Money Laundering?
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: Atilla Member since: Aug 25, 2008
    #3
  4. sphynx

    sphynx UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 9
    I understand but surely they need some sort of proof before freezing all accounts of what could be a potentially a viable business which could sue them at a later date?
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: sphynx Member since: May 20, 2010
    #4
  5. thespraytanshop

    thespraytanshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 2
    Isn't it just? I have asked them over and over again the same questions and I am getting no answers!!

    I have asked:-

    Q: Why have they closed all my personal accounts when my business account is a Limited business name and I had no idea of the cheque being paid in.
    A: Barclays Response: In case the cheque cleared and I tried to do inter banking transfer.

    Q: How could I transfer out the money if they suspended Just my business bank account and not my personal as I would not have access to my business account?
    A: Barclays can not and will not supply me with a valid answer.

    Q: If I was involved as they are implying by closing down my accounts - Why have the police not been informed/got involved and I have not subsequently been arrested for Fraud/Money Laundering or likewise?
    A: Barclays again will not answer!!

    Q: How can they leave me with no bank accounts and no money when I have 3 children to pay and thus am not able to open new accounts as they suggest as all the banks can see that my accounts have been closed due to fraud!
    A: Barclays answer - Because we can, and we can do so until we complete our investigations.

    Q: I asked them, if you knew the cheque was dodgy, and you are fully aware of the scam as I am not the only person this has happened too - why would you treat me like a criminal and a) not tell me or ask me about the cheque when it was first paid in and b) close all my accounts down with no evidence I am involved as I have run my accounts perfectly for the last 7 years.
    A: We closed all your accounts to lower the risk to barclays as the scam artists may try to represent the cheque. If we told you the cheque had been attempted to be paid in you would have tipped off the scammers.

    So as much as it begger belief and as common as this scam is, I am the victim being treated like a criminal. Great isn't it! No wonder so many people now bank off shore if this is how they can treat you :(
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: thespraytanshop Member since: Sep 26, 2009
    #5
  6. thespraytanshop

    thespraytanshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 2
    Oh and the useless business manager I have has not even returned any of our calls for help.

    Basically I will now lose my business over this, face bankruptcy and a tarnished reputation within my industry as well as lose my home all because I took an order in good faith and have the e-mails to prove it!!

    How was I supposed to know it was a scam, and that it would affect me so much?

    If it came out of the blue I would have been more suspicious but due to the fact we were talking to people about distribution there it was only a matter of time before we did do a large opening order there.

    Wanna Cry :( x
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: thespraytanshop Member since: Sep 26, 2009
    #6
  7. thespraytanshop

    thespraytanshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 2
    The money was paid in my a 'Customer' and only once.

    If this had happened several times or large payments of an unknown or unproven source went into our account then fair enough. This was a one off.
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: thespraytanshop Member since: Sep 26, 2009
    #7
  8. Atilla

    Atilla UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,070 191
    Nothing changes at Barclays then
    Whilst this may be true, and whilst you may not want to hear it, you do seem to have been a little niaive in this. Dubai is not the clean living innocent place the glossy brochures would have us believe. Having done business over there, it pays to check, check, and check again.
     
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: Atilla Member since: Aug 25, 2008
    #8
  9. steviemax

    steviemax UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    quoted wrong post
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
    Posted: Apr 28, 2011 By: steviemax Member since: Apr 28, 2011
    #9
  10. steviemax

    steviemax UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Please contact me and I will try to help. i had a problem which got sorted out very quickly after speaking to the right people!!
     
    Posted: Apr 28, 2011 By: steviemax Member since: Apr 28, 2011
    #10
  11. Mustaka

    Mustaka UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    332 161
    That is harsh. Let us know how it all ends up.
     
    Posted: Apr 28, 2011 By: Mustaka Member since: Feb 3, 2009
    #11
  12. Esk247

    Esk247 UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,758 1,514
    Can't you raise an official complaint? thus taking this to the Manager of your local branch for urgent consideration? if he/she doesn't respond within 3 working days then you continue raising complaints up the chain of command until you reach the person that finally says 'this is nonsense, i'll sort that out for you right now'.

    Citizens Advice next?
     
    Posted: Apr 28, 2011 By: Esk247 Member since: Oct 6, 2008
    #12
  13. dumfstar

    dumfstar UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I'm getting hammered by internet banking bogus mails at the moment and its doing my head in!! thanks for the heads up though!
     
    Posted: Apr 28, 2011 By: dumfstar Member since: Oct 28, 2010
    #13
  14. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,932 690
    You should escalate this as high as possible as fast as possible. Send your complaint to the highest person you can track down and make sure you send full details and any supporting info/evidence (such as the emails). Obviously press ahead with the banking ombudsman. Hopefully it will get sorted.
     
    Posted: Apr 29, 2011 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
    #14
  15. Raw Rob

    Raw Rob UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,117 234
    This is a good reason to always have your personal banking with a different bank to your business accounts.

    Rob
     
    Posted: Apr 29, 2011 By: Raw Rob Member since: Aug 1, 2009
    #15
  16. banksrrobbers

    banksrrobbers UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Gave me 28 days notice to empty my 4 accounts as they were being closed.
    Gave no reason,or explanation.
    I have no idea why.
    Even government select committees cannot tell banks what to do,so what chance you or I.
     
    Posted: Sep 22, 2011 By: banksrrobbers Member since: Sep 22, 2011
    #16
  17. thespraytanshop

    thespraytanshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    54 2
    Well this scam finished us off and sadly left many of our customers out of pocket too. Managed by the grace of god to keep my lloyds account and keep my rent paid. I ended up really ill from this and my childrens dad ended up applying for custody because my living arrangements and money were so up in the air. I am now fighting him back through court to get them back!

    Five months on and still not worked. In the process of setting up again and this time will be much more careful and try to work on a cash only basis where possible. I have spoke to many business experts who told me never have just the one limited company - have several so if anything bad happens to one, you still have the others, how right he is!

    Would this happen to Harrods or Selfridges?? I think not!

    I thought i would update this thread as someone just inboxed me and reminded me that it was here.

    Kate
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2011 By: thespraytanshop Member since: Sep 26, 2009
    #17
  18. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

    8,104 1,702
    What an awful thing to happen. It is really shocking. Thank you for posting an update.

    I hope you manage to get things sorted out and most importantly, get your children back.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2011 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
    #18
  19. MASSEY

    MASSEY UKBF Legend Full Member

    10,328 1,783
    Wow that is really bad :(
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2011 By: MASSEY Member since: Nov 29, 2009
    #19
  20. Anjam

    Anjam UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    101 22
    They might not even be based in Dubai, wouldn't surprise me.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2011 By: Anjam Member since: Aug 26, 2011
    #20
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