A BROMSGROVE man has been duped out of nearly £8,000 by an eBay fraudster and then ‘let down’ by his bank and the police.
Chiropodist Adrian Kriss, 54, said his dream of buying a motorcycle became a nightmare on May 16 this year when he placed a bid to buy a BMW GS 1200 T (2013) for his around the world trip.
Adrian said: “I got an email to say ‘congratulations’ and a request to pay the amount by eBay Invoice because it was too large for the seller’s Paypal Account.”
Adrian discovered the eBay Invoice was designed to protect both parties and that it would only release the money once the buyer was happy.
Adrian, who was to wire the money over to a Natwest account, noticed the holder’s name – Alexandru Ciobanu – was different to the seller’s – Adam Hurley.
He said eBay Invoice led him to a ‘live chat’ with a ‘professional’ who assured him this was not an issue.
Alarm bells rang after Adrian’s mechanic warned him he heard of similar fraud story which used the same scam.
Adrian said: “I called eBay and they confirmed they had not sent me an invoice.
“I spoke to Natwest and they told me there was nothing they could do because I had volunteered to pay the money.”
Natwest told Adrian the Data Protection Act stopped them from sharing any information about the account holder unless requested by the police.
Adrian logged his complaint with Action Fraud in May and it was allocated to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau but has not had a response.
His pleas for help failed he felt he had no choice but to try and track the fraudster himself.
A road sign in the picture gave a clue to the area and with the aid of Google Street View, he found an address of the seller in Twickenham where he found it was legitimately sold a year ago.
Adrian said he also contacted his bank – the Bromsgrove branch of Barclays after placing an indemnity which he was told would take 28 days.
“Everytime I called them, I’d get different information and then I got ill with shingles and pneumonia from the stress. So I called again when I came out of hospital on July 14 and they told me the money had been taken out within two hours of the transaction being made.
“But they had this information on May 27 – literally days after I reported the incident – so when I asked them why they didn’t tell me when I’d been calling them this whole time? They said it was not their responsibility.”
A Barclays spokesman said:”Banks try to protect their customers where possible, but it’s really important that people are aware of these scams and take steps to protect themselves.
“However, we apologise that the level of service Mr Kriss received, appears to have fallen short of our usual high standard and whilst this wouldn’t have changed the outcome, we would like to offer Mr Kriss a gesture of goodwill by way of an apology.”
A spokesperson for the City of London Police told the Standard it had ‘disseminated’ the case to the Metropolitan Police who are ‘still deciding whether they can investigate it.