A Leicester resident, who was the victim of a highly sophisticated fraud scheme costing her a staggering £80,000, has been awarded a partial refund by her bank.
Bina Ravat was promised £34m by a lady on Facebook who claimed to be terminally ill wanting to leave behind a large sum of money in her will.
She provided the details for a made-up barrister, also in on the scam, who told the 44-year-old that the lady, not related to Bina, had passed away and to get the inheritance, Mrs Ravat needed to cover various fees and expenses.
“All their documents looked professional,” Mrs Ravat said. “They had a real website and legal documents seemed legitimate. I believed it.”
Over the years, she continued to send money to the fraudsters, who made up various excuses to explain the need for additional payments.
The scammers provided Mrs Ravat with different bank accounts, some located in the UK and some in foreign countries to send the fees.
The victim ended up transferring them more than £80,000 from her mum’s savings as well as her own, with payments dating as far back as 2017.
After realising it was a fraud, Mrs Ravat contacted her bank to try to get a refund, but they only reimbursed a small percentage in 2021 before she sought legal advice.
Liverpool based firm, Angelus Law, took on her case in January 2023 and managed to secure an £18,000 partial refund from Halifax bank in September.
The total amount was not refunded as the bank did not take full responsibility for the transfers.
“I’ve never been scammed before, so this affected my mental and physical health,” she said. “I felt awful because it was my mum’s life savings. I felt sorry for her.
“It was humiliating. All I wanted to do is get my parents’ money back.
“I hoped my bank would help me, but they didn’t, even though I explained what happened.
“I want to thank Angelus Law who were very professional. They kept in touch with me and did their best to get a refund.
“People feel embarrassed to share their scam stories, but it happens to millions. Everyone should know that it doesn’t just happen to them, it happened to me as well. Society is just horrible sometimes. I don’t wish this upon anyone.”
Larissa Ellis, Head of Legal Operations at Angelus Law, the firm that helped Mrs Ravat secure a partial refund, said:
“We are delighted to have reached a settlement for our client, bringing her some much-needed relief from the financial burden imposed by this intricate fraud.
“This is not only a victory for her but also a clear message that financial institutions must play a vigilant role in protecting their customers from professional scammers.
“We are committed to ensuring that justice prevails in cases like these, and we will continue to fight for the rights and security of individuals who fall victim to such schemes.”