‘Fraudsters took money out of my account AFTER I told my bank to block it’ – your refund rights explained
This will come as a shock to many but there is a major flaw with contactless cards which means that fraudsters can still sometimes use them even after they have been cancelled. The reason for this is that traders often process lower value card transactions ‘offline’ and then put these through ‘online’ at a later time/date. The effect is that the bank is unable to decline the payment at the point of the transaction, therefore, meaning that the payment is processed.
The legal position
If a fraudster uses your card you are protected by the Lending Code which provides that you will get your money back, in these circumstances, so long as: i) you inform the bank within 13 months of the fraudulent transaction and ii) you have not acted fraudulently or without reasonable care (eg, you haven’t disclosed your PIN to someone else, or written it down and kept it with the card).
In relation to contactless cards, my own view is that your position is even stronger. The reason for this is that on most occasion when people are fleeced in relation to their card it can be attributed to one of the many security flaws that exist with these cards. In these circumstances, the bank must be liable.
Get your money back if you’re a victim of fraud
- Tell your bank or building society as soon as you think your bank card might have been stolen, compromised, or if you suspect someone has access to your account’s security details.
- If money is stolen from your debit card, you can refer to the Payment Services Regulations. This legislation says you must be refunded immediately if you have had money taken from your account without your permission. Be aware that in situations such as this, you will be liable for any unauthorised withdrawals made before you notified your bank or building society, up to a maximum of £50 – so the earlier you report it, the better.
- Unless the bank can prove you’re liable, it must refund the money and put your account back in the state it would have been if the money had not been taken. This means that any interest or charges you have paid because of the fraud must also be refunded.
Dean Dunham – Sunday Mirror
For more information and tips about your consumer rights, please read our other articles in the consumer news section.