Customer went ahead with cryptocurrency trading despite bank warning

Common scams targeting bank customers,
Ezekiel made several online transactions to a cryptocurrency investment company using his debit card in April 2022. The bank contacted Ezekiel with concerns about the payments and asked whether they were legitimate and authorised by him. Ezekiel confirmed he had authorised the transactions, and the bank went on to warn him about the risks of cryptocurrency scams and that any potential losses would be borne by Ezekiel himself. It also noted that it might not be able to recover the funds should it turn out to be a scam.
February 2023

The bank asked a number of questions about how Ezekiel had found out about this particular platform. Ezekiel responded that he had been trading for years, had done his research thoroughly and was comfortable with bearing responsibility for the payments. Over the next three weeks, Ezekiel made several further payments to the company totalling more than $15,000. The platform turned out to be a scam. Ezekiel informed his bank two weeks after he made the last transaction. The bank’s attempt to recover the funds was unsuccessful.

Our investigation

Ezekiel had authorised all the transactions using his debit card credentials. The main obligation of the bank was to follow the customer’s instructions. The bank did, however, call Ezekiel with concerns about the transactions. Banks should make appropriate enquiries when they become aware a customer may be being defrauded, such as asking questions about the transaction and warning the customer about possible risks, but banks are not liable for the customer's losses if the customer carries on despite the warnings. We told Ezekiel the bank had warned him about fraudulent cryptocurrency trading platforms and emphasised the importance of doing thorough research first. We explained that we were satisfied the bank made appropriate inquiries.


We did not uphold the complaint.

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