I hope my email will find you well
We are writing to you as we have come across to a very strange situation that we tackle for the first time.
Please see below:
We have ordered two floor lamps from Antique gallery in New York (later the Company) at the cost of $12,600 from www.1stdibs.com website where we buy quite a lot of items. This company we order from is a small gallerie and they even use yahoo as their official email. No surprise for us as we already bought from other galleries having their emails on gmail, aol and yahoo servers.
After requesting an invoice it was well received and paid on 15 October accordingly. The invoice was composed on their company letterhead. However on 25 October, they contacted us with a follow up email when the invoice was planned to paid as they have not received any funds yet by that time.
We sent him the SWIFT confirming the payment. After our reply the company informed us that bank details provided in the invoice were absolutely incorrect, that details did not belong to their company at all and that their email was intercepted by someone and bank details amended.
After that we have forwarded to the company all correspondence showing that this invoice (with incorrect bank details) was received from their email (yahoo).
The company confirmed once again that they never sent this invoice and knew nothing about that correspondence. They also checked email sent folder and there was no indication of such correspondence between us and the company.
According to him this is allegedly ‘email intercept scam’ (when email is being intercepted by a third party and bank details changed to a fraudster ones, then email is delivered to its addressee), and he has already reported this to the police .
The payment was done from Russia and the Company located in USA.
The company are asking us to initiate wire recall. However the bank of America said they cannot help as the account has been closed and there is no money on this account. So the bank will not be able to help.
Meanwhile we requested the Company to send us the purchased items, because we have made the payment and consider that financial obligations were fulfilled from our side.
And the case of alleged scam (it this is the case) this is responsibility of the Company as they took their own risk to have official email on Yahoo server.
According to details stated above we would be very grateful if you could share your legal opinion on this situation, what other measures we can undertake to get the purchased items being sent to us and to help Lost City Arts get their funds (if this is the scam case of course)?
Thank you very much
1 Answer from Attorneys
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
I would nee more information, such as where the payment originated from (Russia ?), and where the payment was sent (USA, the same bank as the Galleries bank ?).
What details you wrote in the SWIFT order (the correct company details of the gallery ?), etc.
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