CASE UPDATE: Regular readers will recall the story of JS of Basingstoke who was tricked into transferring £30,000 out of his account to fraudsters.
It was a sophisticated push-payment fraud, which started with a bogus phone call from a crook posing as a member of NatWest’s fraud team.
The caller knew JS’s address, his date of birth, his mother’s maiden name and his wife’s name, and warned that his account had been breached and he needed to take action.
It’s no surprise to me that people fall victim to this alarming scam – however, NatWest seemed to believe that it was JS’s fault for not taking necessary precautions.
Despite my appeals, it refused to help JS, so I advised him to take his case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
He’s just heard back and it’s great news – the FOS forced the bank to play fair with JS and has refunded all his cash, plus 8% interest for the time it was out of his account, as well as handing him £300 compensation.
He’s understandably chuffed at the result, and I hope it encourages NatWest to take a more reasonable approach to future victims of the scam.
It was one of the banks that has signed up to a new code of conduct that came into force at the end of May, which is designed to make it easier for victims to get their money back.
It doesn’t mean that victims will automatically get their money back. But it does mean banks will have to prove that people who fall prey to the fraud acted carelessly.
For instance, if you ignore warnings when setting up a new payee, then the bank will accuse you of being ‘careless’ and won’t repay your losses.
I suspect NatWest will be looking closely for evidence of carelessness!
OUTCOME: NatWest repays £30,000 plus interest