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MSE News: 'Super-complaint' submitted over protection for bank transfer scam victims

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  • colin79666
    colin79666 Posts: 1,348 Forumite
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    While there is an argument for consumer protection from the actions (or non action) but big companies I'm getting more and more concerned that the constant demands for companies to refund consumers is simply going to backfire on the majority who do have their heads switched on. This is another example of it. While I have some sympathy for those duped out of their money they did after all hand it over. Just because it was a cyber criminal asking for a bank transfer rather than someone coming to the door dressed as a policeman asking for hard cash doesn't mean it is suddenly the fault of the bank. If consumers aren't confident enough to spot a scam or to follow up on something suspicious by phone, in person etc. then they shouldn't be doing internet banking.

    We had all the same thing with PPI. Some people were undoubtedly mis-sold and are entitled to their money back but I bet huge number just signed the forms without reading them and now claiming back money which frankly they signed away! What happens to those of us who do our independent research and don't sign anything without reading the T&Cs first? We get charged for a bank account that used to be free and paid in credit interest. The more we go down the American way of considering the consumer as a bunch of dummies the more expensive services will be (those at the top won't cut their profits) and the only people who make money are lawyers.
  • Dan83
    Dan83 Posts: 672 Forumite
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    This is typical of people today, no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions.
  • mt99
    mt99 Posts: 472 Forumite
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    OK my first reaction was that banks have been given perfectly clear instructions by their customers and should not be held responsible. However, on thinking about it, maybe they should take responsibility:


    1. they should not open accounts for fraudsters clearly they are not doing appropriate account opening checks. All payments to accounts opened fraudulently (false names etc) should be the responsibility of the bank to refund. If the account is legitimate, then not.


    2. when you set up a new payment you enter account no and sort code - the bank should then tell you the name on the receiving account so at least you have a rudiementary check.


    3. the banks should have a code word (or similar) on file for each customer so when a customer calls or is called by 'the bank' the customer can challenge and get a response to prove the bank is real.




    What I am saying is as long as the banks are absolved from all responsibility they have no incentive to fix the situation.
  • GingerFurball_2
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    In response to point 1, there isn't currently a 'to commit fraud' option when you're asked 'why do you want to open this account.'

    Banks will block and close accounts when they become aware that the account has been used fraudulently. Sadly by that stage the money is often long gone.
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  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344 Forumite
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    Point 2: It could work between full members of FPS but probably wouldn't work if one or both parties are not full members - or at least, not in real time.

    Point 3: Many banks do this already, the problem is that they know customers are prone to forget the word/number which causes them to fail the check and leads to prolonged security checks and possibly branch visits to confirm identity.
  • Ballard
    Ballard Posts: 2,861 Forumite
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    I don't see how point two can work. I think that banks proving any account information to a third party would probably violate data protection laws. Additionally, as already pointed out, agency banks are not online all of the time. These banks download the FPs in bulk several times a day.

    The other issue would be that it wouldn't solve cases of fraudsters setting up accounts with very similar names to dupe their victims. By the time that they're making the payment they've already fallen for it.
    I hate verisimilitude.
  • mt99
    mt99 Posts: 472 Forumite
    edited 26 September 2016 at 9:13AM
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    Yes that is true but of course fraudsters SHOULDN'T be able to set up accounts with 'very similar names' if the banks did their account opening ID checks properly. Perhaps having to pay compensation would concentrate their minds....
  • mt99
    mt99 Posts: 472 Forumite
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    @agrinnall what I was thinking was this:


    Phone rings. Customer answers.


    'Hello this is Lloyds bank we want you to transfer all your money into a safe account...'


    Customer: 'OK thanks for warning me but before we proceed I need to verify it's Lloyds please tell me digits 2 and 4 of my internet banking password.'


    Or even 'please tell me digits 4 7 and 9 of my debit card long number'


    None of this is perfect but the banks need to give it some thought.
  • JuicyJesus
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    mt99 wrote: »
    OK my first reaction was that banks have been given perfectly clear instructions by their customers and should not be held responsible. However, on thinking about it, maybe they should take responsibility:


    1. they should not open accounts for fraudsters clearly they are not doing appropriate account opening checks. All payments to accounts opened fraudulently (false names etc) should be the responsibility of the bank to refund. If the account is legitimate, then not.


    What a brilliant idea, if only it wasn't the case that fraudsters opening bank accounts did so deliberately to try and appear like normal customers and therefore undetectable; this idea will reduce all fraud to nil overnight if they just don't open accounts for fraudsters, possibly after they've invented a machine that can see the future or works like the thing in Minority Report.

    2. when you set up a new payment you enter account no and sort code - the bank should then tell you the name on the receiving account so at least you have a rudiementary check.


    That's a brilliant idea except for them not having the information and it being a breach of data protection to give it out.


    Here's a fun scenario: ex-husband is required to make child support payment, is given sort code and account number to pay to, ex husband is told by bank that it's a joint account with the full name of the ex-wife's new partner, at best child support payments stop due to ex partner moving on, at worst new partner gets legs broken in jealous rage. And that's just one potential pitfall/DPA breach. But hey at least those idiots sending money to random accounts they get told to send money to over the phone are protected!
    3. the banks should have a code word (or similar) on file for each customer so when a customer calls or is called by 'the bank' the customer can challenge and get a response to prove the bank is real.


    Wow that's so clever it's not like they wouldn't have verified you either so you could be basically anyone but they're still giving you bits of the secret word.


    Of course the secret word that alerts you to a scam should be "we think there's a fraudster so we need you to send all your money to XYZ account" which to me seems more of an indication that something is a fraud than not being able to give a password.
    What I am saying is as long as the banks are absolved from all responsibility they have no incentive to fix the situation.


    Because they have none. If a customer wants to send all their money to a random account because someone on the phone told them to, or withdraw all their cash and give it to a fake policeman, then come hell or high water they will - scammers are very persuasive and will say or do anything to ensure compliance, including asking the scammee to lie about what they're doing or ignore plain as day indications that something is wrong. That's how they succeed. How is that anyone's fault except the scammer and anyone willing to go along with obvious nonsense?
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • GingerFurball_2
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    mt99 wrote: »
    Yes that is true but of course fraudsters SHOULDN'T be able to set up accounts with 'very similar names' if the banks did their account opening ID checks properly. Perhaps having to pay compensation would concentrate their minds....

    Of course, there's absolutely no way of obtaining fraudulent documents.
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