HSBC - Where is My Money..?
This happened 3 weeks ago, and due to the fact that HSBC or Standard Charter Bank still can’t tell me where my money is, I am resorting to Blogging, and to my contacts via Twitter and Facebook to try and spark a response from HSBC or Standard Charter bank.
I own Mia Tui which is a start-up business designing and producing functional bags and handbags.
I was unfortunately subjected to an email scam, my fabric supplier had their emails hacked, and I was sent duplicate emails and pro-forma invoices from what looked like the same email account.
The email I received with the pro-forma invoice attached said that the directors had asked me to pay into their sub account with Standard Charter Bank Hong Kong. I did email back asking why this had changed but “they” were following the email trail and responded back to me, then deleted the actual email so my supplier never saw the email.
On Monday October 12th I paid the pro-forma invoice just before taking my children to school, I always speak to my supplier via Skype, so told her I was making the payment, I scanned the confirmation over to her, then just as I was leaving to take the girls to school she asked "why did you pay this account"?
I forwarded her the email which asked me to pay into the sub-account; I thought “what is she talking about”.
As I returned from school, I had and email from her saying she never sent this email and to stop the payment. I thought it was some sort if joke..!
The scammers were following this conversation as they sent me a copy of the email requesting me to stop the payment, but added “please pay this account instead”!
I phoned HSBC and stopped the payment; this was not even 40 minutes after sending the payment. I was told there should be no problem and have my money back within 2 days.
For the next two days I still got emails from the scam people requesting payment, they told me not to contact anyone else and even set up a Hotmail account in my name and emailed my supplier telling her to only email “me” at this address.
I only found this out when my supplier said I have sent you the pro-forma invoice to your Hotmail account! I don't have a hot mail account. They were trying to stop me communicating directly with my supplier.
My fabric supplier reported this to the police in China, and I called HSBC daily for an update.
I have been sent from one call centre to another, I even found out that they had heard of Mia Tui bags in Malaysia! HSBC can’t tell me anything, not even if the money has reached the fraudsters account.
I have complained to customer services and I have “M” calling me every-day to tell me they have no up-date, I think she is getting embarrassed now. Between the two banks HSBC and Standard Charter they can’t tell me where my money is, even if it has reached the fraud account.!
I am a small business and can't afford to lose this money, maybe if I was a big customer I would would treat me differently
Banks are trying to stamp out fraud, I called 40 minutes after sending the money via the Internet, to tell them that I have been subjected to fraud, you can’t tell me that they couldn't stop the payment.
I've nearly stopped the business over this, I am working 18 hour days and cash flow is tight, I can't afford for this to happen.
The government is relying on Small business to drive growth in the UK economy, but the banks are not helping us grow and develop.
I just want to know where the money is, and when I am likely to get it back..! I have to find extra money now to purchase the fabric, if the fabric is not purchased now, I will not be able to produce for in time for 2013.
I am hoping by blogging about this I may help other small business not make the same mistake as me, and also see if by gaining some momentum highlighting what has happened with HSBC and Standard Charter I may get a response!
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