Ray White blame client for missing $90,000 Mermaid Beach sale deposit scam

Ray White blame client for missing $90,000 Mermaid Beach sale deposit scam
Ray White blame client for missing $90,000 Mermaid Beach sale deposit scam

Scammers have succeeded in securing $90,000 in proceeds from the recent sale of a $1.2 million Gold Coast investment property by Ray White Mermaid Beach.

The sale included a $120,000 deposit put in a trust account managed by the agency.

With the sale proceeding, the agency took its $30,000 commission and then told the client to email them his bank account details.

The client, Andrew Buckley, the former chief executive officer of the engineering firm Cardno, did so, but soon after, another email was sent purportedly from him.

The false email had requested the money be sent to a different, fake bank account.

The agency sent the $90,000 to that fake Westpac account, with the proceeds having not been recovered.

Buckley told the Courier Mail he was "flabbergasted" that no one called him from Ray white to check the new bank account details were true.

“As far as I’m concerned … this (email with a fake account) is a well-known scam,” he said.

The Ray White agency, in a letter to Buckley, pinned the blame on him.

“The fact that it has now come to light that it was not Mr Buckley who sent those written directions is as a result of Mr Buckley’s own failure to ensure the security of his email account,” its letter said.

Buckley acknowledged his email might have been hacked, but also it could have been a hacking on Ray White’s side.

Ultimately, he said this issue was irrelevant as he argued the real estate agent had a responsibility to verify details, especially with cash held on trust.

“You’re looking after someone else’s money,” he said.

The agency declined to answer questions from the Courier Mail, saying it was “fully co-operating” with investigations under way.

Ray White’s head office last month told agents to “never accept a change in bank account details via email without confirming its legitimacy with your client”.

Scam Ray White

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