Teenager Hoaxes Thirteen Belfast Solicitors, 1925

From the Weekly Telegraph, September 5, 1925:

Unlucky Thirteen – Belfast Solicitors Hoaxed

An extraordinary hoax has been carried out on at least thirteen Belfast solicitors, as a result of which a person about whom the police are now enquiring, is believed to be richer to the extent of about £220.

The ruse to obtain the money is a very old one, and was explained to a ‘Telegraph’ representative by Mr George Pollock, solicitor, who, more fortunate than some of his colleagues, escaped being victimised.

Mr Pollock explained that a week ago a very nice young girl, who gave her name and an address at Ballinderry, called at his office and said she wanted him to recover the sum of £19 10s, due to her as lost wages by a businessman near Liverpool. 

A letter was accordingly sent to this man requesting payment of the money, together with 10s 6d costs, and on Wednesday a reply was received enclosing a money order for £20 5s, with an expression of regret for any inconvenience caused.

The order was crossed and was, therefore, only payable through a bank.  On the way to the bank to lodge it Mr Pollock duly presented the order at the Royal Avenue Branch of the Northern Bank, but it was then found that a similar order had been lodged less than an hour previously by another solicitor.

Inquiries were then made at the Post Office, and it later transpired that the orders had ben taken out for £2 5s but had been cleverly changed to read £20 5s.” 

The same article went on to describe a number of frauds effected by the same method in Southport and Glasgow by two well-dressed Irish men and a girl about 19, 5 foot 2 inches, slim and good-looking.

Sounds like the same gang!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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