Banks, building societies etc always recommend that if you are making a large transaction into another person or companies account(House, car purchase etc) that you always put £1 Pound in only and then call up to make sure they have received the money. Do not tell them how much it is and if they give you the right figure then that is a good thing. If it is a lot of money, transfer it in many transactions and check by calling up and finding out. It is better to know and stop rather then to keep going and giving them you money.
CONMAN EXPOSED ADVICE: If you transfer the money via bank transfer, the viewpoint of the bank is that you did so willingly and therefore they cannot help you as it was by your own actions, even if it resulted in fraud against you. Use a credit card as they can protect you but with a bank transfer if it goes wrong there is nothing anyone can do as in their eyes you willingly transferred the money yourself.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to ask another person/company to do a transfer request from your account directly as this way you are covered if you do not receive the goods as they took the money from your account. Always put yourself in a position of strength and not weakness, i.e. make sure you keep yourself covered in case anything goes wrong.
A recent case that highlights this is when a couple sold their house and put their equity into a bank account and with the mortgage they also applied for and received (Which came to approximately £700,000 Pounds) were swindled by a dodgy mortgage advisor and also the estate agent. They disappeared without a trace and the couple now are homeless and have a mortgage to pay for a house that is not theirs…. The lesson here is to be extra vigilant and use only recommended people.
Even then, do not be embarrassed to Google people you are going to do business with and find out about them. Always do the due diligence as it will help you avoid losing your money. There is no shame in asking questions which will prevent you from being taken advantage of.
Remember, it is your hard earned money so do all you can to protect it. Put yourself in a position where someone wants your money, make sure you make it very hard for them to take it unless you are 100% satisfied.
We recently were told about a lady who saved over £50,000 Pounds deposit for her flat and it all went terribly wrong. What transpired was that her emails were intercepted (Please see the What to do to protect yourself page) and a fake email account was used and by posing as the email address she was in communication with, persuaded her to send the funds to their bank account for the transaction to occur. Unfortunately they took the money and disappeared, leaving a distraught person in the worse possible situation.
As the money was transferred by her willingly (Although unknowingly to the wrong bank account) the bank or police would not help. Even though she was a victim of fraud by someone posing as someone else there is no help for her.