Tony Hetherington, the Financial Mail on Sunday’s investigator, is known for fighting for readers’ rights and uncovering the truth behind closed doors. If you need to contact him, find the details below.
N.P. writes: I have had around £20,000 stolen from my HSBC account, and the bank refuses to return it.
Tony Hetherington responds: It is rare for me to say this, but in this case, the bank is actually in the right, and you are in the wrong. Here is what you told me: You live in Surrey and were stranded in Thailand after visiting your mother in 2019. Due to Covid, there were no flights back to the UK for over two years.
During this time, you were unaware that your son in England had received a new HSBC bank card in the mail and had used it extensively until your account was empty. You had no knowledge of this, and your son has since been arrested.
However, there is something you did not mention. Before reaching out to me, you had already taken your case to the Financial Ombudsman, who conducted a thorough investigation. As a result, HSBC had already paid you the full amount of £5,859 that was awarded to you. Your goal in contacting me was to persuade the bank to increase this amount to £24,000.
If I had known about the Ombudsman’s investigation, I would not have pursued my own inquiries. Even when I did start my own investigation, obtaining clear answers was not easy. I asked why you did not check your account online for two years and see the money being taken. Additionally, if you made ATM withdrawals, why did you not notice your balance decreasing?
You explained that you did not need ATMs as you had brought enough cash to Thailand. You were confident that your HSBC account was in good standing because, despite being outside the UK, you were receiving UK Government grants for self-employed individuals during the Covid pandemic. These grants amounted to £15,000. However, you did not provide an explanation for why you did not check your account online.
It was only when I contacted HSBC that I discovered the involvement of the Ombudsman. Their report mentioned two bank cards and stated that the person who used your original card for online shopping must have had access to the card and your shopping account, which could only have come from you or your computer. The renewal card was never validated by you, so any spending on it has been refunded.
The Ombudsman also noted that you repeatedly applied for UK Government grants, which were deposited into your HSBC account. There were also payments out of the account, as well as two transfers.
Like me, the Ombudsman found it reasonable to expect you to be aware of the balance in your account. I asked you to provide bank statements as evidence of the £20,000 or £24,000 loss (as you mentioned both figures at different times).Beware, this scam car website is still running. S.W. received an invoice from car valuation website Upvehicle, which was previously warned against. After not hearing from them for some time, S.W. has now received an email demanding £99. Tony Hetherington responds by stating that the website is a scam and advises S.W. not to pay the demanded amount.The scam previously known as upvehicle.co.uk is still active under different names and websites, such as car-rate.co.uk and the Upvehicle site. However, all of these lead back to Quotient Int Ltd, a company registered in Ireland.
The scam operates by inviting users to enter their car details online and click Continue. While the website page appears normal, scrolling down reveals terms and conditions stating that the user now owes £99 to the Irish company.
I previously warned about this scam in March, when it was sending emails to motorists and using two London addresses that were not associated with the company. Quotient’s goal was to get victims to pay through bank transfer or card.
If individuals refused to pay, they would be threatened with legal action. I issued another warning in May after discovering that Quotient was established by a woman who provided a false address in Polegate, East Sussex to the Irish authorities.
The Upvehicle site displayed an address in Dublin, but it was also fake. As providing false details to set up a limited company is an offense, The Mail on Sunday shared its evidence with Ireland’s Corporate Enforcement Authority. It seemed like a clear-cut case for shutting down Quotient, so it was surprising to receive a fresh demand.
Quotient claimed that they had given sufficient time to settle the matter and offered one last chance to resolve it and avoid further action. I traced the bank code on the demand and discovered that the £99 would end up in a business park in Bulgaria. If Quotient follows through with legal action, I will provide evidence in court to expose them as fraudsters.
However, it is unclear what actions the Irish authorities have taken to investigate the offenses and false addresses used by Quotient. Dublin officials stated that they cannot comment on their investigative activities due to confidentiality obligations. The fact that Quotient changed its Dublin address after my warning suggests that the authorities are turning a blind eye to the company’s deceit.
Therefore, it is important to be cautious as the fraudsters are still operating. If you believe you have been a victim of financial wrongdoing, you can write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail or email him. Due to the high volume of inquiries, personal replies may not be possible, and only copies of original documents should be sent.
Please note that the article also includes a section about a podcast from This is Money, which is not relevant to the reconstruction.The article discusses various topics related to personal finance and economic trends. Each paragraph focuses on a specific question or issue and provides information and analysis. The paragraphs are reconstructed below without changing the meaning or focal point of the article:
1. Have interest rates finally peaked – and what happens next? This article explores the current state of interest rates and speculates on their future trajectory.
2. How much will frozen income tax bands suck out of your pay? This section examines the impact of frozen income tax bands on individuals’ take-home pay.
3. How much further could house prices fall? The article delves into the potential future decline in house prices and its implications for homeowners and the housing market.
4. Will your energy bills rise this winter despite a falling price cap? This paragraph investigates whether energy bills will increase during the winter season despite the implementation of a falling price cap.
5. Have interest rates peaked or will they rise again? The article analyzes the possibility of interest rates reaching their peak or experiencing further increases in the future.
6. Should we keep the triple lock or come up with a better plan? This section explores the debate surrounding the triple lock pension policy and suggests alternative approaches.
7. Should we gift every newborn £1,000 to invest? The article discusses the idea of providing a financial gift to newborns for investment purposes and examines its potential benefits and drawbacks.
8. Are you on track for a comfortable retirement? This paragraph assesses individuals’ progress towards achieving a financially secure retirement and offers insights on retirement planning.
9. Where would YOU put your money for the next five years? The article prompts readers to consider the best investment options for the next five years, including cash, property, and shares.
10. Mortgage mayhem has stalled but what happens next? This section examines the current state of the mortgage market and speculates on future developments.
11. Taxman customer service troubles and probate problems. This paragraph sheds light on the challenges faced by the taxman’s customer service and the issues surrounding probate.
Overall, the reconstructed paragraphs maintain the original focus and meaning of the article while presenting the information in a slightly different structure.Energy companies have been criticized for their poor customer service despite making huge profits. This issue was discussed in the Money podcast. The podcast also covered the topic of inflation easing and its implications for mortgage and savers. Another topic discussed was the possibility of banks closing current accounts with little warning. The podcast also mentioned the falling energy price cap and the rising savings rates. The question of whether hiking interest rates was the right move or a sign of panic from the Bank was also addressed. The podcast also delved into the chaos in the mortgage market and the frenzy in the savings market. The concept of universal basic income and its feasibility was also discussed. The return of inflation-busting savings rates and cash Isas was another topic covered. The podcast also explored when energy bills might decrease and the potential return of fixed tariffs. Lastly, the question of whether more people should be subjected to tax designed for the rich was debated. The podcast also touched on the trajectory of interest rates and the reasons behind their continued rise. The topic of building better homes was also discussed.The article discusses the challenges of building new homes and improving existing ones. It highlights the issue of planning restraints as the biggest obstacle to constructing new homes. The article also explores the topic of adding value to homes through renovations and improvements. It raises the question of whether it is easier to win big on Premium Bonds and whether investing in them is a good idea. The article also delves into the topic of mortgage duration and what to consider when deciding how long to fix a mortgage for. It mentions the increase in the state pension and questions whether something else will have to be sacrificed as a result. The article also addresses the issue of April bill hikes and whether it is time to eliminate tax traps. It discusses the impact of the budget on pensions, childcare, bills, and the recession. The article questions the trustworthiness of the state pension system after recent blunders. It also explores the possibility of a house price crash or a soft landing. The article provides advice on making the most of saving and investing in an Isa. It raises concerns about high food inflation and whether consumers are being taken advantage of. Lastly, the article discusses the potential for peak interest rates and provides a chart showing the shifts in bank rates over time.Could this be the peak for interest rates? What it means for you
Will we raise state pension age to 68 sooner than planned?
Could an Isa tax raid really cap savings at £100,000?
Will you be able to afford the retirement you want?
Will 2023 be a better year for our finances… or worse?
The big financial events of 2022 and what happens next?
Would you be tempted to ‘unretire’ after quitting work early?
When will interest rates stop rising and how will it affect you?
Could house prices really fall 20% and how bad would that be?
Do you need to worry about tax on savings and investments?
Have savings and mortgage rates already peaked?
What does Hunt’s tax raid mini-Budget mean for you?The article titled “Will threats of higher taxes backfire?” discusses the potential consequences of increasing taxes. It questions whether these threats will have the desired effect or if they will result in unintended negative outcomes. The article also explores the impact of tax hikes on various sectors of the economy and analyzes the potential backlash from taxpayers.
The first paragraph introduces the topic of the article, which is the potential backlash from higher taxes. It highlights the question of whether these threats will backfire and discusses the focus of the article.
The second paragraph delves into the impact of tax hikes on the buy-to-let market and renters. It questions whether the government’s approach to buy-to-let has been too harsh and examines the consequences for renters.
Overall, the article aims to analyze the potential consequences of higher taxes and whether they will achieve the desired outcome or result in unintended negative effects. It explores the impact on different sectors of the economy and considers the perspective of taxpayers.The article discusses a situation where a person is missing £20,000 and is considering suing HSBC. However, the article suggests that the person should instead sue their son. The article includes a link to another page for more information.
The article begins by mentioning the page numbers and providing a link to the next page. It also includes a script for a rotator.
Overall, the article focuses on the suggestion to sue the son instead of HSBC for the missing £20,000.
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