Bar­clays didn’t spot fraud

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Five months ago I was per­suaded to give my bank and card de­tails over the phone to a crim­i­nal pur­port­ing to be from my bank. The per­son was do­ing a good imi­ta­tion of be­ing gen­uine and I was un­der pres­sure at work.

The crim­i­nals trans­ferred £2,370 into Bar­clays Pin­git ac­counts. I do not bank with Bar­clays yet th­ese ac­counts had been opened in my name, or in close vari­a­tions of it, and gave my par­ents’ ad­dress, which at that time I was us­ing as my home ad­dress. The money was then quickly trans­ferred out of th­ese ac­counts.

I have writ­ten to Bar­clays three times about this. Surely it should have a ro­bust sys­tem of check­ing those set­ting up ac­counts?

Shouldn’t its sus­pi­cions have been roused by more than one ac­count be­ing opened at the same ad­dress with vir­tu­ally the same name for the ac­count holder?

My own bank has given me some com­pen­sa­tion for the way it dealt with the mat­ter af­ter the fraud but takes no re­spon­si­bil­ity for the theft of my money as I gave my de­tails over the phone. CS, LON­DON

On the ba­sis of just a lit­tle in­for­ma­tion a fraud­ster may be able tease more out of the vic­tim. The kind of ploy might be ask­ing for two dig­its from a pass­word and then say­ing “so sorry I asked for the wrong two” get­ting two more.

This type of strat­egy en­abled the fraud­ster to gather enough in­for­ma­tion to ac­cess your on­line ac­count with another bank and the rest fol­lowed on from there. It took Bar­clays six months to come around to ac­tu­ally deal­ing with your is­sues.

Fur­ther to my in­volve­ment Bar­clays re­funded the full amount lost on the ba­sis that it had taken an in­or­di­nately long time to look into this.

It said: “We ac­knowl­edge that this case was not han­dled with the care and at­ten­tion we would ex­pect and have of­fered Mr S an ad­di­tional £200 for dis­tress and in­con­ve­nience.

Bar­clays’ name crops up too of­ten in such cases and there are clearly se­ri­ous is­sues that it must tackle. less. The sum was in­creased be­fore a me­ter read­ing.

Com­plaints went un­heeded and I could wait up to 20 min­utes to be con­nected to the call cen­tre, which, when I did get through, still did not re­solve the sit­u­a­tion. PS, LINCS

All this trou­ble cul­mi­nated in you giv­ing for­mal writ­ten no­tice that you would be ter­mi­nat­ing your con­tract with Ex­tra En­ergy which was due to end next year.

You ar­gued it had bro­ken the terms of the con­tract and you were en­ti­tled to go else­where with­out penalty. Ex­tra En­ergy dis­agreed.

Only fur­ther to my in­volve­ment did it pay you £90 which com­prises £30 for good­will and £60 for the two exit fees.

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