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The complainant was advised that he had won an international lottery and would need to pay administration fees to receive the funds. He transferred R126 000 into various accounts with one bank and R39 000 into an account with a second institution.
On realising that it was a scam, he approached the banks to refund him.
During the OBS investigation, it was discovered that the account with one of the banks was opened according to its duty of care and that all was above board. The bank could not have known that the account owner was a fraudster.
The second bank, however, did not adhere to its duty of care when opening an account and a refund was requested.
Lesson to be learnt
Complainants should not be too trusting and must be aware of the different scams for they cannot blame the banks for falling victim to fraud and for transactions concluded with third parties. On the other hand, scam or not, the banks must comply with their duty of care when opening a bank account to ensure that it is not opened for fraudulent purposes.