Thief accessed account through PIN stored on cellphone

Cards and PINs,
Logan had a significant sum of money transferred from his bank account via telephone banking by someone he did not know. Logan could not understand how this had happened and complained to us when the bank would not refund the money stolen by the thief.
July 2012

Our investigation

We discovered he had lost his cellphone several months before the theft. When he scrolled through the contacts list on his new phone, he realised he had saved his telephone banking registration number and PIN as a mobile phone number and an email address.

Logan had synced his cellphone's contact list to his laptop. When he bought his new phone, he was able to sync it with the contacts list on his laptop. This meant his contacts list, containing his telephone banking details, had also been saved on his lost cellphone.

Logan had attempted to disguise his telephone banking details, but the offender had seen through this and accessed his accounts. Logan had unintentionally equipped the offender to commit fraud against him. He also made it easier for the offender by not having password protection on his phone.

By recording his banking details on his cellphone, he was in breach of his account's terms and conditions. The bank did not, therefore, have to reimburse the stolen funds.


We declined to uphold his complaint.

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