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Author Topic: account suspended for receiving bank transfer from stolen account (solved)  (Read 1570 times)
zhangweiwu
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December 15, 2015, 11:00:35 AM
Last edit: March 11, 2016, 11:45:46 PM by zhangweiwu
 #1

Any suggestions on the proceeding? (Australia)

After realizing that my bank account is suspended (by not being able to login to online banking), I called the bank, in this case ING DIRECT. They informed me that a serial of transaction used to pay me for bitcoins are from a stolen account, and provided information which leads me to find the questioned transactions. Then they refused to talk to me when I call again, saying that they will contact me instead. They also informed me that they are acting on the request of the paying account's bank.

I have records of all transactions with him from localbitcoins.com, including the proof of delivery of goods (Bitcoin is categorized as goods in Australia). This proof comes from localbitcoins.com - in case you didn't know, this escrow service takes 1% commission fee and holds the goods each time until the transaction gets settled in the bank. I also have my bank (ING DIRECT)'s monthly statements which includes the transactions in question.

The question I am asking, is what to do next? Apparently I wish to prevent lose. Bitcoin selling is legit in Australia. I am registerred as a sole trader, with Australia's business licence number, and I didn't evade tax. I have reported the case to localbitcoins.

I always finalize the bank transfer trades on the 3rd day, so that the transaction becomes "irreversible". I offended many customers with this slowness but kept my way.

I wonder what to expect when bank calls me. I have a legit business, but should I be afraid that banks will try to get me agreed on something to my disadvantage?

P.S. I did try to use Google for an answer, but 100% search results are written for those whose account is compromised, not for those who received payment from such accounts.

My (old) column about Bitcoin & China: http://bitcoinblog.de/tag/zhangweiwuengl/
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December 15, 2015, 03:11:24 PM
 #2

It depends on how many trades you had with that "stolen" account. If that is over a long time, that means the user of that account defraud me. He did not lose the control of his bank account.
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December 15, 2015, 04:59:39 PM
 #3

In my opinion, it would be a mistake to wait to see what your bank decides to do. I would immediately take action and convince them that your transaction was legitimate, and that the fact that you were paid with stolen money is irrelevant, assuming that it was truly stolen. If they don't want to lose a customer, they will have to take your side.

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December 15, 2015, 05:09:01 PM
 #4

this happens very often, at least in germany ( it happend also with one of my bank accounts)
The banks have the right to cancel any account without a reason. So if such a thing happens, it is not important, whos fault it is, the banks can do what they want.
The only thing you can fight for, is your money. You don't have to send it back, but the bank will tell you so.

This is for private customers.
I honestly don't know, how it's done for corporates like the big exchanges, which should receive alot of stolen money.

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December 15, 2015, 08:00:44 PM
 #5

The bank would ask you for proofs and they would investigated further. Since you dint hack the stolen account and only received funds from that account unknowingly, you should not worry but the account I guess would remain frozen.

This is a fact stated:

Funds wired into your account are your responsibility.  If the money that was transferred into your account is stolen, your bank has the right to sweep your account and to hold you criminally liable.
 
You can prevent this from happening to you by placing instructions on your account that no money is to be wired into your account without your specific written approval.
 
Never, ever allow strangers to wire funds into any of your accounts.


Source: http://www.fraudaid.com/check_liability.htm

zhangweiwu
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December 15, 2015, 10:46:18 PM
 #6

The bank would ask you for proofs and they would investigated further. Since you dint hack the stolen account and only received funds from that account unknowingly, you should not worry but the account I guess would remain frozen.



Quote
You can prevent this from happening to you by placing instructions on your account that no money is to be wired into your account without your specific written approval.
 
Never, ever allow strangers to wire funds into any of your accounts.

Source: http://www.fraudaid.com/check_liability.htm

From the source you quote, it seems that I am in a indefendable position if I wired the same money to someone else following their instruction, once I received it. The case of mine, simply receiving it (and not forwarding it) does not make me a chain of money laundry. The bank may argue that the fact I sent the Bitcoins is a form of forwarding the money, but since Australia's tax office rules Bitcoin as a commodity, I am thus selling goods. Nevertheless, I expected money each time and have records of sales, as this is part of localbitcoin's feature.

In my opinion, it would be a mistake to wait to see what your bank decides to do. I would immediately take action and convince them that your transaction was legitimate, and that the fact that you were paid with stolen money is irrelevant, assuming that it was truly stolen. If they don't want to lose a customer, they will have to take your side.

I attempted this by calling the bank, but that the guy on the phone says that he cannot talk with me about anything, and someone from that bank will contact me. I fancy that if they suspect me and intend to get police to talk to me they wouldn't say it in advance:) If this should happen, I should file a case with local police officer now, or at least pay a visit, so that they don't surprise my weak-minded mother by visiting us instead.

The only thing you can fight for, is your money. You don't have to send it back, but the bank will tell you so.

Thank you. It's important that I keep this in mind when getting bank's call.

My (old) column about Bitcoin & China: http://bitcoinblog.de/tag/zhangweiwuengl/
zhangweiwu
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January 10, 2016, 10:59:18 AM
 #7

Just to let any Internet searcher know the end of the story. I filed the case with Australia Ombudsman Service. They asked the bank to reach a resolution with customer themselves, with a deadline attached (tomorrow) and the bank complied, solving the case to my expectation. So there are no financial loses except the uneasiness.

So, this time, the victim, whose account is hijacked to pay for Bitcoin purchased from me, lost. I didn't lose nor win. The hacker won.

Lessons learned:

1) for the victim: watch your bank account balance.

2) for bitcoin seller: if buyer is buying piecemeal, they maybe a criminal, hoping the victim didn't notice their bank balance changing. Ask for more ID proof. I do have regulars, but they don't buy fix amount, and I know them in person.

3) do not accept bank transfer because the banks can reverse them. Although you can get them back, like I did, its not worth the effort.

My (old) column about Bitcoin & China: http://bitcoinblog.de/tag/zhangweiwuengl/
zhangweiwu
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January 11, 2016, 09:47:04 AM
 #8


What was the victim's bank name that used to transfer stolen funds to you ?

It's ANZ Bank in Australia.

My (old) column about Bitcoin & China: http://bitcoinblog.de/tag/zhangweiwuengl/
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January 11, 2016, 07:53:47 PM
 #9

Just to let any Internet searcher know the end of the story. I filed the case with Australia Ombudsman Service. They asked the bank to reach a resolution with customer themselves, with a deadline attached (tomorrow) and the bank complied, solving the case to my expectation. So there are no financial loses except the uneasiness.

So, this time, the victim, whose account is hijacked to pay for Bitcoin purchased from me, lost. I didn't lose nor win. The hacker won.

Lessons learned:

1) for the victim: watch your bank account balance.

2) for bitcoin seller: if buyer is buying piecemeal, they maybe a criminal, hoping the victim didn't notice their bank balance changing. Ask for more ID proof. I do have regulars, but they don't buy fix amount, and I know them in person.

3) do not accept bank transfer because the banks can reverse them. Although you can get them back, like I did, its not worth the effort.

I am glad you get your money back. Sorry it costs you so much time and efforts.
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January 12, 2016, 07:49:31 AM
 #10

ouch what A pain in the butt.

these stories always scare me. You never think it will happen til you hear people tell the story
and realize that could be you.



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January 12, 2016, 08:48:47 AM
 #11

Any suggestions on the proceeding? (Australia)




- If you don't like fiat money to store value, you can use securities backed by gold. At least gold certificate is easy to buy here in China, i.e. you have certain amount of gold; the bank holds it for you. Although you cannot buy things with gold certificates, you can easily convert gold certificates to cash and back. There is no storage fee (you can take the gold physically home if you own more than 1 kilo) and the exchange fee isn't too much (my impression is 2.8%, I could be wrong but not too wrong). Besides, banks here competes fiercely for customer to purchase gold, some bank even do it for free for new customers (there is such an ad right before my window). I feel in other places in the world gold certificates are not hard to buy neither.




I am from desert area of China. In school days I used to defend myself with a pen kinfe. I fought my way to Beijing and survived, although my citizenship remains provincial I consider myself lucky. My friend briefly jailed for trying to report the event of Q-i-a-n-Y-u-n-h-u-i. Married raising a kid without own house, I actuallly learned my English from reading Shakespeare and Tennyson. I never had a chance to go to an English speaking country, twice I was denied of visa for flight risk, such is how western system of law and personal freedom entrusts me. Why do I mention this? Our world is different. The opulence the west enjoys, we work hard to gain equal footing. From grass root I know survival and I know it is not easy here.


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January 12, 2016, 10:57:39 AM
 #12

Though you have to be worried but personally i think you need to main your cool and start gathering every evidence that can proof that you are doing a legitimate business.

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January 12, 2016, 02:38:46 PM
 #13

Visit the bank and meet the senior officials and explain about your situation immediately.
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January 13, 2016, 06:57:07 AM
 #14

Sorry to hear you had this trouble. I'm not a lawyer, but I think you are right. According to the Western Law System, the money did not belong to the customer, so he had no right to send it to you. The bank is required to send the money back to its rightful owner.

Something similar can happen when you buy a used car. If the person who sold you the car is a crook and the car was stolen, it will be returned to its rightful owner by the police. The onus is then on you to try to get compensation from the crook who sold it to you.


When doing a deal with anyone, always try to verify their ID and residential address so you know who they are in case things go wrong. That is also why platforms such as Ebay, Airbnb etc are so useful: the platform will help you and maybe compensate you in cases of fraud like this and the platform should know the identity of all its users.
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January 13, 2016, 07:14:09 AM
 #15

@lahm-44 @ vileygroun @noel57 , his problems are sorted out , hope u didnt read everything  Wink i am quoting that for you guys , OP has to edit his first post  and inform about how he solved his problem too


Just to let any Internet searcher know the end of the story. I filed the case with Australia Ombudsman Service. They asked the bank to reach a resolution with customer themselves, with a deadline attached (tomorrow) and the bank complied, solving the case to my expectation. So there are no financial loses except the uneasiness.

So, this time, the victim, whose account is hijacked to pay for Bitcoin purchased from me, lost. I didn't lose nor win. The hacker won.

Lessons learned:

1) for the victim: watch your bank account balance.

2) for bitcoin seller: if buyer is buying piecemeal, they maybe a criminal, hoping the victim didn't notice their bank balance changing. Ask for more ID proof. I do have regulars, but they don't buy fix amount, and I know them in person.

3) do not accept bank transfer because the banks can reverse them. Although you can get them back, like I did, its not worth the effort.
zhangweiwu
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March 11, 2016, 11:58:13 PM
Last edit: March 12, 2016, 12:48:01 AM by zhangweiwu
 #16

@lahm-44 @ vileygroun @noel57 , his problems are sorted out , hope u didnt read everything  Wink i am quoting that for you guys , OP has to edit his first post  and inform about how he solved his problem too

I edited the title of this thread. Normally I should not resurrect dead threads, but just to write to let you know that there is a wave of de-banking going on in Australia now.

It started last year, and still going on now. Talk about it in Melbourne's bitcoin meetup you can find people with their bank account closed, at which place I heard that banks staff registerred as users of Bitcoin exchanges to find from which accounts they sent their customer's withdraw, and closed these accounts in detail. Something bitcoin sellers should be aware of.


Something similar can happen when you buy a used car. If the person who sold you the car is a crook and the car was stolen, it will be returned to its rightful owner by the police. The onus is then on you to try to get compensation from the crook who sold it to you.

That's not true. I learned it through this drama. There is a Bona Fide Purchaser. If you buy it without notice (that it is stolen), then it's yours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bona_fide_purchaser


To respond to the diligent antifraud work of @Gleb Gamow : that quote was 3 years ago and I moved to Australia in the interim. That's why it's convenient for me to show up in a bitcoin conference in New Zealand. Also it's non-trivial to move domain name in and out of China thanks to the China's sensorship requirements (business not run by me). Not that I have an obligation to respond to @Gleb Gamow but I have an interest to, because I do antifraud work myself, e.g. I warned a month before FxBTC's insolvency.

My (old) column about Bitcoin & China: http://bitcoinblog.de/tag/zhangweiwuengl/
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