Fraudsters tricked me into paying £169 for a new roof – now the bank says it’s my fault

For the past few months, I’ve been running a fraud awareness campaign on my LBC radio show, The Consumer Hour.

Meanwhile, I’ve been consistently pointing out that if you fall victim to a push payment scam (this is where you are tricked into sending money directly from your bank account to a scammer), you can claim your money back from the bank.

This is thanks to a voluntary refund code that was introduced in May 2019 and that many banks have joined.

This code was supposed to end this month, but this week it was announced that it would be extended to June 2021 to give additional time to put a more formal system in place.

Liam was told that he had an outstanding amount to pay on his new roof [stock image]

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Sounds like good news, but a lot of you tell me the code is worthless as banks keep wriggling out of their claims.

Liam from Medway had his roof repaired in June. Upon completion, he received a second invoice with an email supposedly from the roofer stating that he had forgotten to invoice some materials. The bill was for £ 169.

In the email, Liam was asked to write down the new bank details on the invoice. Liam believed it was all overboard so he paid for it. It turned out that scammers had hacked the roofer’s email.

Liam contacted his bank and eventually his claim was denied.

The bank said Liam should have called the roofer to check that the email was genuine as the email contained “red flags.”

Sally from Winchester fell victim to a bitcoin scam that led her to transfer £ 300 to a scammer. The bank denied its allegation on the grounds that Sally, having posted warnings of Bitcoin scams on its website, negligently fell for the scam.

What does the code say?

Are banks legally obliged to pay out?

Under the Code, banks can refuse reimbursement if they believe that the victim has acted with gross negligence or carelessness.

Examples are when the victim ignores a fraud warning issued by the bank or when the victim should be aware that the request for payment was not genuine.

The problem is that some banks interpret what amounts to “gross negligence” on the part of the victim very broadly and in many cases simply act unfairly.

In this context, a report by the campaign group Which? concluded that banks wrongly penalize customers who ignore automated fraud warnings.

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This is because, for the most part, the warnings are “generic” and overlooked by customers, while the rules clearly state that such warnings should be tailored to the specific scenario and should be clear, effective and timely.

In assessing whether or not a victim should be reimbursed, the bank should consider whether the bank’s acts or omissions have affected the victim’s ability not to be a victim of the fraud and whether the victim was during the process of assessing the fraud Reimbursement has acted dishonestly or hindering

Banks should also consider the victim’s vulnerability. If I judge correctly in that way, I believe that most of the victims are eligible for reimbursement.

Financial ombudsman

If a bank rejects a victim request, the next point of contact is to file a complaint with the financial ombudsman.

It is said that the bar for “grossly negligent” is high – and not just means that the victim was negligent or negligent. The chances of a complaint to the Ombudsman being successful must therefore in many cases be high.

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