The South African Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) has published a new case report as part of its 2018 review.
The case dealt with a victim of online bank fraud whose online access credentials were compromised through a ‘Microsoft scam’.
Fraudulent transactions totalling R140,000.00 were made from his account. The funds were then transferred from the complainant’s bank to a beneficiary bank.
Upon reporting the fraud, he was informed by his bank that the funds could not be recovered.
“During the course of our investigation it was ascertained that the beneficiary bank informed the complainant’s bank on numerous occasions after the fraud was reported to it that a SAPS case number and affidavit were required from the complainant otherwise the fraud hold on the beneficiary account would be uplifted,” the ombudsman said.
“The complainant’s bank did not inform the complainant of this requirement from the beneficiary bank and as such the SAPS case number and affidavit were not provided timeously, which resulted in the beneficiary withdrawing all the funds.”
The OBS found that although the complainant’s confidential banking credentials were compromised, the loss that was suffered was not because of the compromise but was due to the fact that his bank failed to action the request from the beneficiary bank and communicate the requirement to the complainant timeously.
“Essentially his bank was in a position to mitigate his loss and failed to do so. It was our recommendation that the complainant’s bank refund the complainant, and the bank agreed,” it said.
“Complainants should report fraud to the bank timeously, and if the bank fails to take the necessary measures to mitigate the loss, the bank will be held liable.”