The Banking Ombudsman has recommended that a bank reimburse their customer after she was scammed out of $40,000.

The woman was sent a text message she thought was from her bank. The text told her that her account had been put on hold due to suspicious activity. There was a link that would take the woman to a login page and her account could be unfrozen.

The woman clicked on the link which took her to what looked like her bank’s login page. She entered her login details.

Days later the scammer accessed the woman’s internet banking using her username and password and transferred $40,000 from her account.

The woman notified the bank and requested reimbursement, but the bank told her that she had breached their terms and conditions by sharing her banking details, or had failed to take reasonable steps to protect herself. The woman then made a claim to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman reviewed the Code of Banking Practice, which provides that banks should reimburse customers if they have taken reasonable steps to protect their account details and complied with their bank’s terms and conditions.

The Ombudsman decided that it was reasonable for the woman to have believed the website was real, given the text message and the site itself. The woman had not willingly shared her information with the hacker as she genuinely believed the website was her bank’s website.

It was recommended that the woman be reimbursed the full $40,000. The bank agreed.

It is vital to protect your banking information, especially as scams like this one become more common. If you believe you have been treated unfairly, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.