Banking Fraud – ‘The Legal Grey Area’

Banking fraud has raised its ugly head again this week with reports of up to 30 accounts being scammed in the last two months across Northern Ireland. These fraudulent activities take many forms from false claims regarding inheritance and bank surpluses to the more modern ‘phishing’ (emailing) and ‘vishing’ (telephone) scams.

In the last two months businesses and individuals, country-wide have been targeted with sophisticated ‘phishing’ and ‘vishing’ scams. These scams involve calls or emails to individuals from representatives claiming to be from the bank, often having already obtained some details on their victim, and requesting information which they then use to access online banking accounts and transfer funds.

The PSNI advise that legitimate companies or banks will never request your full PIN or password over the phone and made the following statement in relation to reporting:

“Any unsolicited communication or contact from your bank or another company should be checked. Please contact the bank or company in the event that you are approached by phone. Try and use a separate phone from the one that you have been contacted on as the fraudsters can hold an open line and trick you into believing that you are contacting your bank.”

The Legal ‘Grey Area’

The legal stance in these cases is that the bank should be liable unless

    • You have acted fraudulently.
    • You have, with intent or gross negligence, failed to notify the bank within a specific time frame.
    • You have, with intent or gross negligence, not acted within the provisions of the banks terms and conditions.

‘Gross negligence’ in this instance however has yet to be clearly defined and with  information on banking fraud and the methods used by fraudsters often outlined by banks, the burden could arguably be put on the victim to ensure they are fully informed and adhere to the terms and conditions of their online banking procedures. This may include never giving out PIN numbers over the phone or speaking to third parties about your details.

Speak to us

Our expert Jonathan Jackson has been working with a number of clients who have been effected by this activity over the last few weeks to ensure they are not left out of pocket in these cases. We would advise any person who has been a victim of phishing, vishing or any form of banking fraud to contact Jonathan as soon as possible from the details below.

Our Expert

Jonathan Jackson

Call: 028 9024 2450


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