Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Last year in May two fraudulent cheques amounting to P19,050 were cashed on my account. At the time of the P9,400 the first withdrawal I immediately called the bank when I received the SMS message and spoke to a supervisor inquiring about the withdrawal. I was told that the cheque was less then P10,000 and they did not need to call me and the persons cashing said they have done work on the farm for me. When I hung up the phone a second SMS for P9,650 came through.

I immediately went to the bank and made a case at the police station as the persons Omang and name were not familiar to me. I have demanded from the bank to see the surveillance footage which I was denied without a court order.

I later found that my cheque book had been stolen from my car but did not realise it was stolen until the message came through. Also there was 10 cheque number difference from the last cheque that I wrote and I have give cash cheques so it should have been odd to them anyway cashing such big amounts just a few minutes apart

The police managed to get a court order just to be told that the video footage is not available anymore. CID have a warrant of arrest out but have closed the case since they were not assisted by the bank with the investigation I have submitted a final letter on 25 June 2013 and the police report demanding my refund and up to now I am being promised every week and hear different stories without a resolution. Can anybody help me and tell me what is my options?

I suggest that you ask the bank for copies of the cheques and examine the signatures. If it’s clearly not yours then the bank is liable as they’re meant to honour the payment only if they have a reasonable belief that the cheque was really signed by you. However if they had good cause to think you’d signed them then the situation might be more difficult.

Did the bank explain why the video footage was missing? That sounds like a failure of basic standards to me. Did they say if all of the videos were missing or just the one that filmed them stealing your money? Maybe they have footage of the crooks entering or leaving the bank? It’s worth asking.

We’ll get in touch with your bank and see if they can’t try a little harder to help you.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I mistakenly paid money into someone's account on 1st of August. I got a statement from the bank showing this transaction. At first the person denied it saying the account was closed. Only when I informed him that the bank confirmed that he withdrew the money did he admit to it. I have been trying to meet with this person in order to recover my money.

The guy is still avoiding me like a plague. I feel the bank should contact him to get his side of the story if they don't believe me instead of asking me to bring him in.

Isn't there anything the bank can do to assist?

I’m really sorry for your trouble, it must be very frustrating. We’ve heard of such things happening many times before and I’m still surprised that the banks don’t take more care to prevent them happening. It seems that banks only use the account number you give them to process a payment and they don’t double check using the account holder’s name. That seems strange to me. Maybe the banks should take a bit more care and help us prevent making easy mistakes?

I called the guy in question, the one who received your money by mistake, and he also gave me various excuses. However he did acknowledge that the money was yours and that he would need to make a plan to repay you. If you ever need a witness to corroborate I’m happy to be there in court.

Meanwhile we’ll get in touch with the bank and see if they can’t just reverse the transaction.

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