Monday, 26 September 2011

Dodgy transactions?

So what was the dodgy transaction that caused barclays fraud to block my on-line on a Sunday (and not take calls on a Sunday to sort it)?

Was it someone emptying my account?
Was it someone trying to transfer more than the daily limit?
Was it someone trying to send money to lots of other banks?

Nope, it was my sending £1 to my daughter's Barclays account at the same branch!

They do pick their moments though as Lloyds bank are coming in today to try and get me to switch!


  1. My understanding is that a lot of frauds start with a very small money transfer just to test that it works OK (and hopefully won't be noticed).

    Still doesn't stop it being very annoying when your account is frozen though.

  2. Possibly it looked like a test transaction for some plan to clean you out?

    My understanding is that the first thing you do with a compromised account is make a small low value "test" transaction.

    Creating an account that looks like a relative of the victim would be a good way of trying to take some of the heat off the payment probably and it's not like it would be particularly tricky to fake the two utility bills needed to create such an account.

  3. So, query it with me - fine - but (a) they turned off the account then called, meaning I could not even go look and see there was nothing odd. (b) They called me, but would not take a call back!

  4. Agreed that Barclays were a nightmare - calling me expensively while on holiday and cutting me off while on a tiny island in the Artic circle.

    So I moved to Lloyds, and they're much better. They text me when something suspicious happens and ask that I call them if it wasn't me. Presumably the logic is that if my phone is also stolen, I'd know about the theft and would cancel my cards anyway. Very unobtrusive and works well.

  5. But they did try to query it with you. The fact that you refused to speak to them on their terms (which you must have agreed to) is your fault, surely?

    HSBC are quite good about this sort of thing (although the monthly payment of my Amex card still trips their system, but that's another story) - they say something to the effect of "Fine, I understand you don't trust me. Please call us back on the number on the back of your card.", which works for me.

  6. Sorry, what? Refused to speak to an anonymous caller claiming to be the bank. I am pretty sure the terms are *not* to give our details to such people. It is not complicated to tell me there is a problem and let me call back on a known number (such as on the back of my card) - but no! They don't take calls on a Sunday!

  7. Personally I completely distrust Lloyds after a criminal talked their way past a telephone banking operator after failing to provide the correct account secrets or to answer the security questions correctly. They updated my home address to a vacant property in another city and asked for my cards to be reissued - all in the same phone call and without setting off alarm bells! The first I was aware of it was when my credit and debit cards failed at a restaurant.

    Since I do not use telephone banking I requested that the service be disabled on my account, which they did - sort of... Two weeks later the exact same thing (same address) happened again over telephone banking. What they don't tell you is that asking for the phone banking service to be disabled is equivalent to asking for your secrets to be removed so that they instead authenticate you using standard security questions - less safe than having the service "enabled". I.e. it was impossible to tell them that they should never serve you using phone banking!

    They lost a customer.

    (And needless to say, both the local police and police in the city of the fraudulent address said that because I didn't suffer any direct loss it is the responsibility of the bank to report the incident and they wouldn't even take a copy of that address for their records.)

  8. Scary, and just highlights what I say that it is the bank being defrauded (i.e. police not even dealing with you).

  9. Except the banks won't go the the police either - so the fraudsters get away with it (as in the case above where the same person tried the same fraud twice). With no penalties I'm surprised it doesn't happen a lot more often.

    AFAIK no bank will disable phone banking - I wish they would, because it's just not secure... online I have to enter a generated code before it'll let me anywhere near it. On the phone all you have to do is say 'I forgot my code' and they'll give you a new one (I've done this!).

  10. Sorry about the Necromancy here. With RBS you can set a password for them to quote to you - when they call or text you about fraud you have this shared secret so you know the calls legit.