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Banking Ombudsman Says Keep Watch For Scammers Over Summer

Press Release – Banking Ombudsman

As you put your feet up, keep your guard up for scammers over summer, especially online, says Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has updated their scams quick guide to help keep bank customers alert to increasingly sophisticated …

As you put your feet up, keep your guard up for scammers over summer, especially online, says Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has updated their scams quick guide to help keep bank customers alert to increasingly sophisticated scammers.

“It’s been a tough couple of years and everyone’s ready for a break. But we urge you to keep a look out for scammers and contact your bank straight away if things go wrong,” says Ms Sladden. “When shopping online, for example for Boxing Day sales, beware of fake sites and only use your card on trusted sites. Courier scams are also rife at this time of year. If you’re contacted out of the blue, stop and think before clicking links or giving any information. And if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Every year, the Banking Ombudsman Scheme receives an increase in complaints about fraud and scams, including investment, sales, invoice, romance, and remote-access scams.

Top tips from our quick guide include:

1. Never disclose PINs or passwords.

2. Check carefully that you’re sending money to a legitimate recipient.

3. Never accept money into your account for subsequent transfer to others.

4. Check your accounts and statements regularly.

5. Contact your bank immediately if you suspect you have been scammed.

The quick guide features common scams and bank obligations to their customers. While there is a general obligation to reimburse customers for fraud from unauthorised transactions (unless customers breach their terms and conditions or act negligently), sometimes customers send their own money to scammers. When payments are authorised, such as with invoice, romance or investment scams, we can consider whether the bank acted with reasonable care and skill.

Case examples

Jennifer – Investment Scam

After Jennifer- sent $230,000 to overseas accounts in an investment scam, she said the bank breached the duty of care it owed her by allowing the payments. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme found the bank wasn’t aware Jennifer was being defrauded but should have acted more promptly to try to recover Jennifer’s money once notified of the fraud. However, the funds were already beyond the bank’s reach to recover when Jennifer alerted them.

Harper – Romance Scam

Harper- began corresponding with a person online and this relationship had features of a romance scam. The bank made a note about the possibility of a scam. Harper said the bank did not question her about the transactions. She felt the bank had a responsibility to do more to detect the fraud. We concluded the bank had failed to act with reasonable care and skill and should have questioned Harper or warned her about the possibility of fraud.

Pierce – Invoice Scam

Pierce-, the owner of a building company, received an invoice from one of his sub-contractors. But the sub-contractor’s email had been hacked by a scammer, diverting the payment into a different account. Pierce said the bank should compensate him for his loss because he had been the innocent victim of a scam. We explained that a bank’s role is to pay the funds according to the instructions its customers provide, and it had done so.

See the quick guide here

See more scam cases here

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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