Don’t let banks put us in danger

When my bank left town I did not think too much about it as I use its Internet service. But now I realise it has put me and many others in danger. I need to transfer a large amount of money to a solicitor . Last time I did it the branch organised the process and charged £25.

Now with “Friday Fraud” a growing thing where thieves hack into accounts and send messages changing bank account details to people about to complete on properties or needing to pay a builder we need our banks to protect us.

Unfortunately that is not uppermost in their business processes. When I called my bank to ask how I could transfer a large sum I underwent a security check and was told I needed to record Voice ID and then was sent on a ten minute journey of bad music, messages about how busy it was, and warnings must be careful not become a victim of fraud.

When I finally got through to Jason at the call centre he told me I needed to speak to another department and transferred me to it….after another wait the next person could not talk to me because an 0800 number was displayed because I had been transferred and she could not therefore confirm my identity.

I will try again tomorrow and the next day. But in the meantime anyone paying money to a new person or company needs to make sure that they use the confirmation of payee system and get an exact match. If your bank does not offer this online then you need to telephone your bank to get the details checked. If your bank does not offer this protection it might be time to move your account to one that does and keep your fingers crossed they do not close your local branch.

You can also transfer £1 to the solicitor, builder or whoever and check that they receive it. Currently all the onus is on customers to stay safe with only TSB agreeing to pay all customers who are defrauded. Others tend to find that the customers were not diligent enough.

It is lucky that I was not trying to report fraud when I was sent on the merry-go-round of my bank’s call centre. The money would have been long gone by the time I got through to the second call handler, who could not deal with me.