Scams  

Victim of complex push scam repaid just 50% by HSBC

He said: "This was my life savings which I worked hard for. This [scam] was convincing and sophisticated. Under the lending standards board guidelines, I have reasonable rights to believe I was protected and had acted accordingly."

He claimed his first contact with HSBC on February 13 should have "raised an alert" with the team that his account might be subject to fraudulent activity, but it was not.

The resolution

Initially, FTAdviser helped M compose a letter to HSBC's fraud team, using the templates set out by Which? and Citizen's Advice. In 2020, in the case of APP push scam victim W, her money was restored to her in full following our investigation.

A few days after FTAdviser spoke with HSBC, £4,950 was refunded to the customer.

This included a payment of £4,674.81 that was credited to the customer’s Help To Buy Isa, rather than his bank account, so that his government entitlement won’t be impacted.

It is understood the bank accepts the customer did not get sufficient fraud warning, so repaid only 50 per cent of the money taken in the first two transactions.

M said: "I should be refunded the whole amount as I never handed over my hard earned savings carelessly. If that's all HSBC are willing to do then that's what it will be. I just don't feel this is good enough."

A HSBC UK spokesperson said: “Protecting customers from fraud is an absolute priority for us, and we are sorry to hear that Mr M has fallen victim to an authorised push payment scam.

"Scammers are unscrupulous criminals who use a range of sophisticated techniques to obtain the necessary information from their victims."

HSBC UK said it works hard to deliver on its commitments under the CRM code, helping protect as well as support customers should they fall victim to scammers, working hard to "ensure fair and reasonable outcomes for our customers.

“HSBC would never ask a customer to move funds to a ‘safe account’. Customers who believe they are the victim of a fraud, a scam, or want to discuss a suspicious payment should call the number on the back of their card which can be used 24/7.”

The spokesperson added it encourages people to learn more about the different forms that financial scams can take and how they can protect themselves by visiting its security centre at HSBC.co.uk, or the industry-wide Take Five To Stop Fraud campaign website.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com