ScamsDec 17 2021

Victory for scam victim as Fos tells Halifax to pay up

Search supported by
Victory for scam victim as Fos tells Halifax to pay up
Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Halifax has been told to repay the entire £9,970 that a scammer stole from a young customer earlier this year.

As reported at the time by FTAdviser, the young woman - who the Fos referred to as E - contacted us in March this year. 

She had been the victim of a clever authorised push payment scam, which saw her lose almost £10,000 to a fraudster. 

Despite her writing a thorough complaint letter to Halifax, explaining her vulnerabilities and requesting her money back, Halifax returned just £1.27 of her lost money. 

At the time, E said she had been distracted by the sudden hospitalisation of her grandmother and "put under pressure" by the scam caller - who pretended to be a senior official from HM Revenue & Customs.

She said even though a warning notification had popped up when she went to make the transfer, the caller explained this away and she was "caught in the moment".

However, Halifax said she should have known the caller was fraudulent, and while it attempted to claw some money back, was only able to give her £1.27 of her original amount. The bank said it would not compensate her for the full amount. 

But after taking her case to the Financial Ombudsman Service, E has informed FTAdviser that the ombudsman has ordered Halifax to reimburse her - not just the amount she lost but also the lost interest on the account.

She said: "I just got all the money back. Thanks again for trying to help me out in the first place. I had to wait a few months but I won in the end."

A spokesperson for Halifax said: "Helping keep our customers’ money safe is our priority and we have a great deal of sympathy for E as the victim of a scam. We have acknowledged the ruling from the Fos and have now provided a full refund.

“It’s important to treat every email, message or call that you’re not expecting with caution. Your bank or a genuine organisation such as HMRC will never ever ask you to move money to a different account and if anyone does, it’s definitely a scam no matter how genuine it may appear."