So­lar pan­els sent me­ter back­wards

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

In Au­gust 2015 I had 10 so­lar pan­els fit­ted to my garage roof and, although a cus­tomer of Ex­traen­ergy

for both elec­tric­ity and

still on the phone to him, you nav­i­gated through your com­puter and on to on­line banking, pre­sum­ably to check that you had re­ceived the al­leged re­fund.

Right at the be­gin­ning, HSBC, hav­ing tried to speak to you with­out suc­cess, checked and found that you had logged in us­ing your iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, had an­swered cor­rectly the mem­o­rable ques­tion and had used the se­cure key, which pro­vides a unique one-time se­cu­rity code for its cus­tomers us­ing in­ter­net banking.

The lat­ter can be ac­quired only by tap­ping into a card reader, which is sep­a­rate from the com­puter.

After you had pressed an­other but­ton, pay­ment ben­e­fi­cia­ries were set up

by the fraud­ster from, we think, be­hind a false screen pos­si­bly cre­ated by us­ing a screen­shot. The ben­e­fi­ciary ac­counts reg­is­tered in this way in­cluded a Bar­clays ac­count into which £1,989 of the stolen money was put and one at NatWest into which sums amount­ing to £5,726 were also de­posited.

The fact that you re­leased so much se­cu­rity in­for­ma­tion means that HSBC is treat­ing the dis­pute as a scam rather than a fraud. The bank con­cluded: “There is not any pro­tec­tion avail­able to ei­ther re­call or re­im­burse the funds.”

I spoke to Bar­clays and, two days after my in­volve­ment and many weeks after the event, it re­turned the £1,989 to your HSBC ac­count and also

cred­ited £100 for good­will.

It apol­o­gised for not hav­ing ad­vised you sooner that the money had ac­tu­ally been se­cured. Bar­clays said: “As soon as HSBC alerted us to the scam we did be­gin our in­ves­ti­ga­tion. How­ever, we have apol­o­gised to Mr W for the time we have taken to con­firm that the funds were se­cured.”

At my sug­ges­tion you used this as a prece­dent and con­tacted NatWest, which had ac­knowl­edged that some funds had been frozen in the re­cip­i­ent ac­count but had given no hint as to how much this amounted to.

NatWest sought an in­dem­nity from the send­ing bank. At my re­quest HSBC agreed to pro­vide this but pa­per copies got lost some­where and, in the end,

with fur­ther prompt­ing from me, an in­dem­nity was sent elec­tron­i­cally. Once that process was com­plete, NatWest re­turned the £1,706, which was all that re­mained in the ac­count your money had gone into.

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