‘Bank transfers should be as safe as credit card payments’
when the bank was not at fault.
Joseph Kotrie Monson of Mary Monson Solicitors, a specialist in fraud cases, said he would like to see a similar model when it came to bank transfer fraud to the one for credit card fraud.
He said: “The law has already placed the responsibility on credit card companies to make good losses from fraud – and the companies market that as a reason to get a credit card. The same could be true for bank transfer fraud.”
Alan Williams of Parker Fitzgerald, a consultancy, said: “It’s still a tricky area and I’m sure there will be many people who will look for help unsuccessfully because for whatever reason the bank has done enough. If the warning was a pop-up screen, for example, people tend not to pay too much attention to a pop-up.” But it could be enough to get the bank off the hook.
Most experts agree that greater responsibility must be placed on the bank that receives stolen money. Jack Buster, an independent fraud recovery specialist, pointed out that in many cases the victim’s bank had effectively done nothing wrong – beyond following its customers’ instructions.
When opening accounts, banks must follow strict “know your customer” checks designed to prevent money laundering.
In a significant move earlier this year the City watchdog ruled that complaints could be lodged against banks even by noncustomers, potentially opening the floodgates for fraud victims to target criminals’ banks.
Joe Riddoch, 31, from near Aberdeen, thought he’d found a bargain when he saw a digger listed on a website for just over £7,500. He was unable to view the machine but, after carrying out some checks on the company, he made the transfer.
The delivery date came and went. Mr Riddoch realised he had been scammed and reported the crime to his bank, which informed HSBC, the fraudster’s bank.
Mr Riddoch thought his was a lost cause until the police revealed that he was one of more than 90 victims of the gang. The HSBC account he had paid the money into had been opened by the criminals using a fake Danish passport and a fraudulent bank statement.
After being confronted by Telegraph Money HSBC agreed to pay Mr Riddoch £8,520 – the amount lost plus interest and compensation. on. HSBC said protecting people eople from fraud was a top priority.
Joe Riddoch lost £7,500 to o scammers