Bank had adequate process in place to respond to after-hours scam victims

Categories:
Common scams targeting bank customers,
Summary:
In June 2023, a scammer pretending to be Clyde’s son contacted him via WhatsApp, saying he needed to use Clyde’s credit card to buy an anniversary present for Clyde’s daughter-in-law. Clyde accepted this and passed on his credit card details. The scammer linked Clyde’s credit card to a Google Pay wallet and used it to make 28 payments totalling more than $8,000 at petrol stations in the Netherlands.
Published:
June 2024

Clyde did not hold the bank liable for the loss because he agreed he had breached the terms and conditions of his credit card by passing on his credit card details and two-factor authentication codes to someone else. However, he was unhappy with the lack of help he received when he tried to contact the bank. He had discovered the payments one evening just before midnight. He called the bank immediately but was greeted with an automated voice message saying he had called outside office hours. Clyde was distressed and upset that he could not talk to someone at the bank immediately.

Our investigation

We found the bank had a process in place for reporting fraud outside office hours. When Clyde called the bank, an automated phone message instructed him to email the bank's fraud detection team if he needed urgent assistance. This process had been very effective in Clyde’s case. Clyde had emailed the bank's fraud detection team, as instructed. Within 20 minutes, the fraud detection team had blocked Clyde’s credit cards to prevent any further losses. A team member had also tried to call Clyde, and when Clyde did not answer, the team member sent him an email with instructions about what to do next.

Clyde told us he did not recall hearing the phone ring, and he had not seen the email until the following morning. He maintained the bank should have had an after-hours phone line available for scam victims. We considered the bank had an adequate process in place to help scam victims outside office hours, although we did suggest the bank update its automated phone message to make clear it monitored its fraud detection email address afterhours.

Outcome

We did not uphold Clyde’s complaint.

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