Fraudsters hit 20,000 Tesco Bank accounts: what you need to know

Tom Wilson
7 November 2016

Tesco Bank has blocked all online current account transactions after some 20,000 people had money fraudulently taken from their accounts this weekend.

You can however, still use your debit card to make in store payments and cash withdrawals, while direct debits and bill payments will continue to be made as normal. The bank says a further 20,000 accounts have been affected by “suspicious activity”.

I think I’m affected. Will I get my money back?

Benny Higgins, Tesco Bank’s chief executive says he hopes all affected customers will be reimbursed in the next 24 hours. In some cases customers have reportedly lost more than £600.

Rules set by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority dictate that banks must refund unauthorised payments immediately and in full, unless there is evidence that the customer was at fault.

Mr Higgins adds: "We can reassure customers that any financial loss as a result of this activity will be resolved fully by Tesco Bank, and we are working to refund accounts that have been subject to fraud as soon as possible."

Can I make online purchases via my Tesco current account?

No. As outlined above, this service has been temporarily frozen.

Mr Higgins says: "As a precautionary measure, we have taken the decision today to temporarily stop online transactions from current accounts. This will only affect current account customers. We are working hard to resume normal service on current accounts as soon as possible.”


Can I still use my debit card as normal?

Yes, you can still use your debit card to make in store transaction and ATM withdrawals. Mr Higgins says: “While online transactions will not be available, current account customers will still be able to use their cards for cash withdrawals, chip and pin payments, and all existing bill payments and direct debits will continue as normal.” 

How many people are affected?

Tesco Bank says 20,000 accounts have had money fraudulently withdrawn, while a further 20,000 have been affected by suspicious activity.

The bank has 136,000 current account customers, meaning at least one-in-seven Tesco Bank users have lost money from their account.


What does Tesco Bank say?

Mr Higgins says: "We apologise for the worry and inconvenience that this has caused for customers, and can only stress that we are taking every step to protect our customers’ accounts.

"We continue to work with the authorities and regulators to address the fraud and will keep our customers informed through regular updates on our website, twitter and direct communication.”

The bank hasn’t said any more about the incident. 

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