Be on the lookout for banking fraud

Business banking news review: week ending 17 July 2014

Criminals and fraudsters have begun to come out of the woodwork like mad lately, perpetrating crimes left and right that have left Brits penniless.

It seems like the more interconnected and mobile our society gets – which brings with it such time-saving things like mobile banking apps and current account switching that takes nearly no time at all in comparison to how it was done in the olden days – people have come up with new and better ways to steal life savings right out from our noses. It’s not even a case of a fool and his money are often parted either; many times there’s no indications that there’s any negligence on the part of the victim in leaving their personal details unsecured. Meanwhile, many banks could care less about such behaviour and will just blame the victim regardless, if you can believe it – a practcise I find absolutely abhorrent.

Don’t believe me? Think about this one: 53 year old Trevor Smith, from Dorset, found that someone had posed from him and removed some £35,000 – mostly in fraudulent loans taken out in his name – from his accounts in order to go on a spending spree in London only to discover that his bank expected him to return the loaned cash in two weeks or face charges. Incensed and betrayed, Mr Smith contacted media outlets and luckily was able to create such a furore against his bank – TSB, formerly Lloyds TSB before the recent spin off – that the bank begrudgingly agreed to not charge him for the loans and return any other money that was spent in his name. Of course TSB couldn’t help twisting the knife a bit by insisting that Mr Smith had somehow been responsible for the banking fraud, even going so far as claiming that he had admitted to not having his account PIN and password details secured, despite the fact that the 53 year old denied ever saying such a thing to the bank.

Instances like this absolutely drive me mad. It’s not some poor bloke’s fault that a bank’s supposedly ‘secure’ systems are so easily breached that anyone can figure out how to crack a password and PIN and then pose as a customer in order to walk off with tens of thousands in cash. Banks just don’t want to take responsibility for their own shortcomings so they just blame the victim. It’s ridiculous and it has to stop!

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