Hello, I am new, joined this forum for advice, sorry if not in the right section. Also sorry it's long!
I’ve discovered by chance husband has re-activated old abandoned bank account.(we switched to an offset mortgage account about 20 years ago because of his overspending on general stuff like clothes etc. for himself, we never bothered to close the old account). It is a joint account in both our names, but he obviously assumes I won’t look at it these days.He definitely has a Revolut account. Told me this voluntarily a couple of years ago, and said it was because you can use it on holidays abroad without bothering about exchange rate etc. That in itself is fine, I thought nothing of it at first.There are regular cash (transfer) payments to Revolut from our main joint bank account: I have asked about this and he has said it’s for work accommodation/food.(he gets an allowance in his wages for this) The payments are regularly c£200 during working weeks, but many of these have been during furlough.He then moves that money from Revolut into the previously abandoned bank account.He then makes payments from this old bank account to an unknown account as a bank transfer: This is the thing I need help with, I need to find out where it is going/who’s account it is? Sometimes he has paid into the old bank account from Revolut, sometimes cash. (Seems to be in a rush/panic because sometimes has taken money out before deposit cleared) the amounts vary, they’ve been, for example, 10 p (which I guess is a tester amount to make sure it worked?) then things like £5, £105, £300, £200, £120, £50, £20 – it varies like that. All these were during furlough so definitely nothing to do with work expenses. Also, it is definitely him doing this rather than an online fraudster because some of the amounts have been paid into a branch counter in person. Also because he has deliberately ordered a new card etc which has come to our home.I’ve googled the transfer number and got nowhere: however, I think the first 6 numbers are a sort code and the number matches ‘Revolut England and Wales’. So he has funnelled money from our main account, to an old abandoned account, to his Revolut, to another Revolut? (unless he’s gone mad and is moving it around and back to himself again which would be pointless, but you never know!) I’ve discovered that with Revolut you can have one-off disposable ‘virtual’ cards on your account.So, assuming from all this secret shuffling that it’s something he never wants me to find out (or he’d just use our normal account) : He has history of drugs (recreational, not recently, years ago before we were together as far as I know) and porn (ongoing): could he be paying someone for something like this? Surely you would just pay cash in person? unless online stuff like webcam etc., or even he could have graduated to paying for sex in person? I’d be really grateful for any tips or advice how to find out more about this: I’m pretty good at google, but I’ve run out of questions to ask it! (I’ve not mentioned gambling as a possibility because I’ve never known him show any interest in that, although at this point, it could be anything).Also, ApplePay: looking through our joint credit card statements, I’ve also noticed many Apple Pay payments. How can I find out more about them? If the ApplePay payments are also going to his Revolut account, then it takes the spending into a whole new realm: talking hundreds/thousands. How can I find out?Also there are loads of payments to Etsy: I’ve never used Etsy and I am certain he hasn’t, he wouldn’t be buying homemade teacosy or whatever, does Etsy sell porn or drugs on the sly?How can I trace the bank transfer from our old bank account to whoever it is? (I would be legally entitled as the old account is in both our names!) If I go into a branch will they tell me? As I’m joint account holder, even though it was him making these transactions?If you’re thinking ‘just ask him’, that would be pointless: He has a long previous history of lying, emotional abuse, passive aggressive behaviour. Better that I try to find out as much as possible myself first. Can private detectives do stuff like this? Or forensic accountants?Thanks in advance.
The first place to start would be to request a copy of the statements from the joint account. It's joint and you need only ask for a copy although there may be a cost involved if the statements are not stored online.
Once you have the statements you can see the account numbers of any accounts to which money is transferred.
The cash withdrawals are more problematic and it is best to view these over a period of time e.g. if there are 50 withdrawals of £200 over a 6 month period, that is worthy of investigation.
I am in pretty much the same situation as you. What I told myself is - where can the money go? ADDICTION! 1) gambling (my STBX gambles on video games - which he knows I know nothing of! & some bookmakers I suppose as that’s cash so no trace!) 2) sex (near impossible to prove, maybe online porn or red light district, who knows?!) 3) drink (he has a history of this before we met) 4) drugs (recreational and maybe prescriptive?, from before we met - not sure) & smoking 5) retail (he is such a spend thrift! Only in himself - not the family!)
Sorry rant over! I also can’t find any trace of his bank account details (unfortunately not joint!), his business mails have been diverted so he’s definitely siphoned $ off somewhere - for what purpose I don’t know! He also has a history of lying so not wasting my time asking! So I just made the decision to divorce (didn’t tell him), took 3 months to gather as much evidence as I could (because once you mention the D word, things mysteriously go AWOL!) - and now I’ve got the divorce process rolling! I’m just going to leave it to the solicitor (via wikivorce) to get full disclosure as I’ve tried and it isn’t forthcoming.
A few things I may suggest for you are:
1) gather, label, hard copy and electronically, all documents that are freely available now - take copies (I found that my STBX doesn’t log out of emails on the desktop - so I printed a lot of stuff). As you are a joint account holder, all you need to do is ask for bank statement - no explanation needed. Most bank apps have statements up to 6-12 months easily, some more - get the free statements first, analyse the pattern. Call the bank and place a threshold to say any transaction above £x needs both of you to authorise (obviously do this after you’ve moved substantial money to your solo account!)
2) meanwhile research divorce options (diy, mediation vs lawyer) if you haven’t already that is - but don’t mention the D word or act suspiciously
3) move as much money as you can, if not all of it out of the joint account into your sole account ASAP! Do not put anything more into the joint account (give any excuse you need to!). Open 1-2 more solo account that he doesn’t know about!
4) Sounds like you are the higher earner ? I am too - so I got my parents to write me a letter saying they want their money back (what they gave over the years of marriage) - so that helps secure me/ reduce the amount we split
5) change all your passwords - bank, emails, phone pin, etc