Bank had no reason to suspect payments were fraudulent

Common scams targeting bank customers,
Ralph made three payments totalling $70,000 to a company’s Hong Kong bank account. The company turned out to be a front for a scammer.
April 2022

Ralph said the bank’s fraud detection systems ought to have picked up this fact. The funds were frozen in the Hong Kong bank and would be released only with a court order or with the account holder's consent. Ralph didn’t want to incur the costs of court action. He also said he was a vulnerable customer, and the bank ought to have known this.

Our investigation

We could find nothing that might have caused the bank to suspect the transactions were fraudulent and prompted it to look more closely at them. The bank made the payments on Ralph’s authorisation, and acted within one business day to try to recover the funds when told of the fraud. The Hong Kong bank where the funds are frozen is not part of our scheme, so we have no ability to compel it to release the money. We did not consider the bank should have regarded Ralph as a vulnerable customer.


We did not uphold Ralph’s complaint.

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