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Capot
24th May 2014, 12:15
This is really for UK bank account holders.... I'm fighting a lonely war on the banks; any views and/or assistance appreciated!

The Direct Debit scheme is a fraudulent con under which banks connive in allowing DDs to be set up fraudulently without any checking whatsoever, and then refund the stolen funds ONLY if and when a customer spots the theft, as the "Direct Debit Guarantee" requires them to do. The banks' refusal to prevent the thefts before they happen makes them parties to the thefts, and it is high time the banks' Directors realise this.

Anyone who has another person's account number and sort code can pay for goods or a service using that information, together with their real name and address for delivery. Neither the supplier nor the bank does any checking that the name and addresses (billing and delivery) are the account holder's name and addresses. This fraud has been done on our account 3 times in the last few months. Sort codes and account numbers are nor confidential; the banks print them on every cheque.

It is the Banks' responsibility to ensure that companies check DDs properly by, as a minimum, ensuring that the person providing an account number and sort code is the account holder. The Bank can only ensure this by refusing to accept DDs from a company that has submitted a fraudulent DD until an audit has been done to ensure that its checking procedures have been improved and are robust and that staff training has been carried out in them, with a second audit after 3 months to ensure that the procedures are followed. There also needs to be a 3 strikes policy; 3 fraudulent submissions would disqualify that company for ever.

The volume of this theft must be at least 3 times the volume discovered by, and refunded to, customers. Naturally, extracting the real figure from the banks will meet with every obstruction and delaying tactic, but we can safely assume that it is at least £50,000,000 a year (discovered and refunded theft) until proved otherwise. If the average theft is £20, and only 10% of households (let alone business accounts such as ours) suffer a theft each year (discovered and undiscovered), the total volume would be just under £150m a year. These are conservative estimates. Fraud on business accounts might double that figure, but is more likely to be discovered quickly.

It is astonishing that the banks are so eager to sweep this under the carpet, until the banks' income from it, and the costs of preventing it, are also appreciated.

Keef
24th May 2014, 12:45
There is certainly an element of risk for customers who don't check their bank accounts.

M and I have two bank accounts of our own, and I run (or have run) a dozen or so others for various organisations. I've never (yet) had a dodgy DD taken from any of those accounts.

I've not dealt with all the UK banks: is this a particular one that's not performing as it should? There is one Spanish-based UK bank that has caused me serious grief several times, and which I now avoid like the proverbial.

Capot
24th May 2014, 15:10
Our bank is the RBS, but I think they all fail to check DD applications and just put them through, on the basis that the customer can always tell them if it's a theft.

acbus1
24th May 2014, 15:24
UK Banks Assist in Thefts from Customers
Except they call it 'the interest rate'.

UniFoxOs
24th May 2014, 15:27
It's not just DDs - this also applies to Standing Orders. A few years ago I noticed some strange debits via SO. Turns out some crim had got hold of a bunch of account numbers, we suspected from using debit cards which contain a/c number, and made out SOs to himself from a few hundred accounts transferring GBP100 on the 27th of current month then GBP50 on first of each month thereafter.

Of course by the time I get my statement there's £150 gone. Rang bank - they claimed it looked like "one of my signatures" on the SO form. I asked for it to be faxed over - nothing like mine. I rang back - bank's response - "It looks like you've been swindled, sir". My response - "No YOU have". They settled up with me, but crim had cashed all the dosh out of his account and disappeared, leaving several banks out of pocket. I often wonder how many customers didn't spot it, though.

dazdaz1
24th May 2014, 15:56
I pay all my direct debits AND standing orders via a credit card. Gives big protection under consumer rights act (UK) if things go pear shape.

Mike6567
24th May 2014, 16:42
Didn't this happen several years ago when Jeremy Clarkson gave out his bank details saying it was only possible to deposit money - not remove money from his account. Only to be proved wrong!

Jeremy Clarkson stung for £500 as fraud stunt gets punished | Money | theguardian.com (http://www.theguardian.com/money/2008/jan/07/personalfinancenews.scamsandfraud)

cockney steve
24th May 2014, 16:50
also with Robbing Bloody Sods....only robbery was that dictated by head-office......favourite scam" paying this order would take you 10p overdrawn, therefore we paid it , then rejected it (charge £25) then, though you were now £24.90 overdrawn, we did the same the following day....realising we're pushing our luck, we now charge you £35 for this letter to tell you you're now£85 overdrawn because we prefer to rob you than lend you 10p and only get interest on that."

Every time I remonstrated with them about charges, they were ALWAYS reduced by 50% without a murmur.
corrupt, immoral, unethical scum....even some of their employees are ashamed and embarassed to work there since Fred the Shred subverted the pillar of virtue that was the old RBS.
Queenie should have removed the "Royal" when she removed his knighthood.
Paid for several transactions by quoting a Srt and an A/c number.
Didn't know it was possible to rape accounts as well, shouldn't have believed their spiel about "secure"

Gertrude the Wombat
24th May 2014, 23:10
ONLY if and when a customer spots the theft
Which you do automatically at the end of the month when you reconcile your statement.

Hardly a big deal, unless it keeps on happening, in which case I suggest you inform the police.

Seldomfitforpurpose
24th May 2014, 23:21
Which you do automatically at the end of the month when you reconcile your statement.

Hardly a big deal, unless it keeps on happening, in which case I suggest you inform the police.


Which anyone with even half an ounce of common sense does without even having to think about it. A non story at best!

ExSp33db1rd
25th May 2014, 01:09
Over the years I seem to have agreed to pay by a variety of DD. SO. and Credit Cards, and seem to spend almost all my waking life trying to remember what is going on. The situation is compounded by my bank renewing my Credit / Debit card every two years, giving it a new expiry date as a result, so that when they get a demand for money with menaces from a merchant they then refuse it on the grounds that it is an expired card and I end up being charged late fees on top of the original when I finally learn of their action. THEY change the card, for f***s sake, can't THEY make a note in THEIR system that the same card number now has THEIR new expiry date attached to it ?

Life was easier when a bill arrived in the post and one posted a cheque back.

Recently learned something else, as well..............

I "transfer" money from my UK bank overseas, and accept that banks make their profit on foreign exchange between the varous buying and selling rates, that's not unreasonable they have to exist, ( sadly !) but I've always beefed about them also charging a "commission" on top of that, it seems like "double dipping" to me?

I've also recently been told that "Banks" set an exchange rate at the start of market trading each day, then "load" it against the possibility of losing out during the day should the rate for any given currency move against them before the market closes, and this can add up to an extra 4-5% in their favour, so I've recently taken to using a broker, who amends the exchange rate every 15 minutes ( I think ? ) and when accepting my contract locks it in at the rate I'm prepared to accept at any given time, providing I send the funds within an approved time.

Trouble us, I guess, is that I'm dealing with a commercial organisation that could go belly up, so I don't "deal" in large amounts, swings and roundabouts I guess, the customer is always going to lose, anyway.

Cynic ? Moi ?

Capot
25th May 2014, 18:10
Hardly a big deal, unless it keeps on happening, in which case I suggest you inform the police.

Which anyone with even half an ounce of common sense does without even having to think about it. A non story at best!

Yes, well, when you do have a go at getting Devon & Cornwall's finest (or whichever Force you pay for) to take the slightest interest, instead of telling you it's nothing to do with them, contact the bank, stop wasting our time, mind how you go Sir, let me know and I'll have another try.