Lloyds fails to spot fraud

admin
19 July 2012

Q

At the end of last year, my Lloyds credit card showed up two purchases from woolworths.co.uk, one for £3.95 and one for £429. I knew these were mistakes as I hadn’t bought anything from the shop.I contacted the bank to alert it to the fraud but, as the transactions had been made through what Lloyds called a 'secure' website, it won’t count it as fraud or refund me.I disputed this and, after contacting Woolworths, I was advised to contact the Data Protection Unit for more help.I did so back in February and in April I was told it was continuing to look into this. No time frame has been given and I’m still able to use this credit card.Lloyds has been really unhelpful and now I don’t know whether Lloyds or Woolworths should be refunding me.I don’t know where else to turn to get this sorted.
From
Karin Grant, Cumbria

A

If a fraudster gets access to your cash the best thing to do is inform your bank, which should replace the money straight away. 

However, in Karin's case this didn’t happen and she was left having to try to get this money back on her own.

As she had little help from Lloyds, we contacted the bank and Woolworths to try to get to the bottom of the case. Woolworths looked into the matter for us and came to the same conclusion as Karin.

"We appear to be dealing with a fraudulent misuse of the card. If this fraudulent use of the card had been conducted over the phone, we as a company would stand the loss.

"But as the Woolworths account was set up via the web and the bank released the funds, it is the responsibility of the bank to stand the loss and refund the money," says Lauren Jones, spokesperson for Woolworths.

We then went to Lloyds to see if it could give us some answers. Eventually, the bank replied and admitted full responsibility.

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Instead of classifying the transactions as fraud the bank said it had been mislabelled a dispute and therefore the money hadn’t been given back.

A spokesperson explained: "What we should have done was refer the matter to our Fraud Operations team, and not simply have treated the transaction as a dispute. I certainly do regret this was not the case and the delay that followed."

The money has now been returned and an extra £50 given to compensate Karin for the mistake. "I cannot understand why Lloyds suddenly changed its mind about the matter. After six months of what felt like pushing water up hill, your assistance and knowledge rectified this matter for us," says Karin.

What to do if you're the victim of card fraud

The amount of money lost to credit and debit card fraud is at its lowest level for 11 years, according to the UK Cards Association.

In 2011, £341 million was obtained fraudulently but the figure was down 7% on 2010 and it was the third year in a row that the amount has dropped.

However, some people will still find themselves the victim of a card fraudster.

So what should you do if you spot suspicious activity on your bank or credit card account?

  • Tell your bank or credit card provider as soon as you notice anything suspicious - they can then start investigating. As long as you haven’t acted negligently, for example not protected your pin, you should be fully covered and receive your money back.
  • Stop using the card in question and request a block on it.
  • Go through your statements and highlight anything suspicious so that you know how much money you need to get back from your bank or have removed from your credit card bill.