Law & Order

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards: Watch Out, Schemes To Defraud Are Multiplying

Nightmare Unauthorised Use of Employer’s Credit Card? The Court Decides

A fascinating case which gave glimpses into the lives of high class households in Monaco who expect absolute honesty and trust from their employees. This trust clearly broke down when an employee in his sixties was brought before the court for alleged unauthorized purchases of services for tens of thousands of euros on a credit card provided by his employer. The facts weighing against him were that there was evidence of purchases of many goods and services in Nice near his family’s residence when much could have been purchased in Monaco. Furthermore many of the purchases were for items incompatible with the life of a high class, even aristocratic household such as food in inexpensive fast-food restaurants.

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The facts in his favour were no-one was contesting his authorization to use the credit card. There was no clear evidence of limits put on purchases or written rules or policies of which he could be shown to be in breach. The complainant asserted that purchases of food in the tune of six figures over two years and over 1500 euros expenses a month in petrol was excessive. The employee claimed that in fact there were a dozen diners to be fed continually and a multiplicity of errands to make. Typically there are instances of payments on the black and irregular employment contracts that permeate these cases – situations that make the Court uneasy. And there was an assertion by the employee that this was a revenge case because he himself had launched a complaint for unfair dismissal.

The defence lawyer stated it was up to the employer to prove conclusively that breaches had been made – and that they had not been proven. The Court dismissed the complaint; and at the same time dismissed the counter-suit by the employee for over 40.000 euros damages for prejudice.

Be Aware – There Are Smooth-Talking Swindlers Trying To Make Contact With You By Phone 

Be particularly careful if you are listed in a telephone directory. People in Monaco are a prime target. And there are smooth villains out there with clever techniques at the ready once they can get you on the telephone. Sometimes, even a first name is a giveaway of someone of advanced age who is especially vulnerable. And the crooks are, of course, after money and bank transfers.

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Such was a recent scam to call all the let’s say “Gertrudes” in the telephone directory pretending to be a Government official, a tax inspector or even the Police.

Under threat of a huge fine you are then guided through the procedure for making a bank transfer; the transfer can even be to a foreign bank such is the sophistication of the scam. Alarm bells should always sound in your head when pressured to transfer money. So professional and so prevalent are these scams that the Government has had to on occasion issue a communique warning about any scams that come to their attention – with advice that you contact the police and your bank immediately of any such suspicious calls. Forewarned is forearmed. Watch out there are tricksters about!

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