Thursday 24 March 2016

Police think crime is your fault

The Met Police commissioner, a man whose stock is falling like a mining share on the FTSE, has mused that Banks should stop paying out people who are victims for fraud.

Apparently, it only encourages them to be reckless.

His reasoning is along the same lines that if you leave your car unlocked or a window on your house open, then you will be uninsured. But then again, is a girl fair game because she wears a short dress....this is a silly path to take the 'asking for it' legal defence.

The Banks themselves are not going to wear this either. Firstly, if they all act in concert then that is anti-competitive. Secondly, they are the ones pushing online and digital.

The world of online banking has long been insecure. The Banks have always paid no questions asked because if they don't then customers will insist on branches, chequebooks, cash etc; all very costly and the Banks are trying to dump this aspect of banking.

Paying out a few hundred million in fraud cases is pittance compared to sacking 50,000 people and closing hundreds of branches. Perhaps the Banks could do more to install anti-vires software etc at their cost and as an added benefit of current account banking; rather than useless insurance deals etc that they currently offer.

And of course, their world is ruined if the trust goes and then there is the cost of real security. Nobody loves 3-level security, indeed personally I find it easier to find a cash machine than try to log on to my supposedly accessible internet banking.

So the Met Police commissioner will take a bucket full on this and quite right as his real attempt is to get others to pay to do the Police job. After all, his union members want to sit in cars and patrol the streets, they are hardly equipped to go toe-to-toe with Anonymous style hackers; good luck with the re-training of the Force!


Steven_L said...

I was listening to this chap on the radio this morning too. My take was:

Some debit card providers operate voluntary 'chargeback' schemes to insure their punters. This is nothing to do with him.

Credit providers can be jointly liable for misrepresentation or breach of contract in some circumstances. But I don't think he was talking about Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

When you pay by bank transfer or debit card for worthless a boiler room scam diamonds or wine, the bank don't refund you. Nor to they refund you when you get defrauded into buying miracle slimming tablets or anti-ageing cream.

In fact I can't think of any instance of fraud victims being refunded by the bank that I've dealt with in 10 years of working for Trading Standards that wasn't a result of a 'chargeback' or Section 75 claim. These schemes do cover some fraud, but most claims are about faulty goods and poor services.

No what this muppet was on about (I think) is when someone fraudulently accesses your bank account and withdraws money. Your 'leaving the car unlocked' or 'giri in short skirt' analogies are way off the mark CU.

What he is suggesting is akin to you and I going round to his house when he is at work, me selling you his car, on his drive, you putting it on a transporter and taking it away, you getting good title to the car and me to the money.

But it doesn't surprise me that a senior policeman has no understanding of consumer fraud, because the police don't investigate consumer fraud. I've not only reported, but provided hard evidence of, many multi-million pound frauds to the police over the years. And they never do anything about it. They are lazy, ill-informed and useless.

dearieme said...

The collapse of standards in the police force has reached risible levels. What do the sods do any more? Investigate fantasies about sex abuse from decades ago? Natch. Deal with actual crime? Nah.

CityUnslicker said...

SL - fair points, but that is what HE was saying. Not having anti-virus protection and then someone using a phishing scam made you liable - i.e. leaving the door unlocked.

Of course you don't agree with that and neither do I!

the banks still do jack shit because the cost-benefit to them is for just paying everyone out. This is the one smiggin of a point that Hogan-Howe had, but that is a distraction technique anyway.

Steven_L said...

But anti-virus protection has nothing to do with a most phishing scams?! Anti-virus software doesn't stop you getting html emails designed to look like they are from the bank.

And the banks don't refund people for a new computer when it gets wrecked by malware, whether or not they had anti-virus protection.

Nor do they refund people who reply to 419 scam emails and make bank transfers to fraudsters.

Likewise they do not generally refund people who transfer their money to fraudsters pretending to be their banks anti-fraud department.

This chap is using his position to suggest to a public he is paid to protect from fraud - a public that he says he thinks is gullible - that their banks insure them against fraud. They do not, it's simply not true, they are protected against unauthorised transactions, as common law would dictate they are, but they are not insured against fraud when make a bank transfer.

He's quite obviously a complete muppet, as Guido would say, he should stick to shooting innocent Brazilian electricians.

BE said...

I don't understand which "frauds" he is talking about, either.

If someone manages to use spend money on your card somehow, how could you have done anything to prevent that? It isn't the same argument as the government not standing behind the banks so as to encourage savers and investors to take more care with their money.

Bill Quango MP said...

SL - I see your point. He is asking the banks not to pay people out, but they don't anyway. He is asking them to stop doing something they aren't doing?

Like yourself I have had dealings with the police and fraud. On one memorable occasion, through a bit of luck and some mildly enterprising detective work, we gave the police:

The name
CCTV tape
And the original stolen card and the fraudulently purchased goods.

They said to tell the bank as they didn't deal with card fraud.

Steven_L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven_L said...

Apparently BE it is your fault that the chap in the petrol station skimmed your bank card. You didn't update the anti-virus protection on your laptop, therefore it is your fault!

Believe it or not, this does seem to be what he is saying. I think he is actually that stupid. But then he probably has someone type his letters for him, so why should be know any better?

Actually, on second thoughts, it's not your bank card is it, it's the banks, and it says so on it. Likewise, if someone did access 'your' online banking they would actually been accessing the banks computer network.

Nick Drew said...

The Banks have always paid no questions asked

not least, because a good % of the scams clearly pivot on bent bank employees

Mrs D got done by some bastard passing a cheque written by the bank & meant to be posted to her, to someone who miraculously opened a new account in her name, banked it, cashed up across the counter and fled, all in the space of two working days (so much for 'know your customer', eh?)

it is hard to imagine how this 'works' except via the agency of one of their own employees - they certainly didn't wish to discuss it, just reimbursed her the £££, move along everyone, nothing to see here

Steven_L said...

So in ND's case,

Bank owe Mrs D £X

Bank writes cheque to Mrs D but posts it to someone else who banks it

Under UK law banks debt to Mrs D has not been discharged

Bank still owes Mrs D £x

Therefore bank is victim of fraud and not Mrs D. Why on Earth would Mrs D have to pay for it?

Likewise if crooks use technology to clone banks card and extract money by hacking banks computers (because it is a form of computer misuse/hacking) then bank is victim of fraud.

But Constable Muppethead thinks the bank should be allowed to make one of their customers liable for the fraud.

Electro-Kevin said...


When I was a police officer we had a stolen cheque squad. Now the police don't want to know anything about petty fraud. And nor do the banks.

Of the fraud perpetrated against me (with extremely strong suspects) the bank said "We don't prosecute under £10k of theft."

So now you know.

(And now you know how the most unlikely people are able to buy London homes.)

andrew said...

The man is there as the public face of law enforcement in London.
Like Boris, a completely useless untrustworthy individual.
Unlike Boris, no fun.

Anonymous said...

Several hundred pounds of Wonga loans were taken out in my name a couple of years ago. I emailed them to say that I had nothing to do with the loans and received a nice reply apologising for me being a victim of identity fraud. I pointed out that they were the victims of the fraud; they replied with exactly the same email they'd send previously.

The customer is very rarely the actual victim of the fraud, outside of the old lady who gets conned into handing over some cash to the "gas man". That the banks gleefully state that customers are reimbursed when falling victim to fraud really winds me up.

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon - When I went to report the crime to police they told me the same. That they couldn't take a report from me as I was not a victim. Yet at that time the credit card company's agents were trying to extract the money from me.

As an aside:

I went to the ombudsman and the case was found in my favour and that the credit card company's security was lax. I was awarded £100 'good will'.

Yet the credit card company wanted £3000 of charges from me when it thought it was me that was in the wrong. If it had found my security to have been the cause through such laxity the financial penalty would have still stood.

Talk about things being tilted to the benefit of the finance industry !

Steven_L said...

I've had some belters over the years:

"Well you know it's fraud, and I know it's fraud, but a jury won't have any sympathy for the victims"[because of the small print they were given after paying up]

"Well it is probably is fraud, but the CPS won't touch it" [said looking horrified at the thought she might have to read two big ring binders of witness statements and documentary evidence]

"There's too much politics involved" [meaning because these pension liberation scammers have registered 4 different companies in four different police jurisdictions I can't do anything about it]

"We won't be able to arrest them, it's a bank holiday" [referring to counterfeit goods sellers on a bank holiday market the police wanted to take in a 'joint working' exercise.

Raedwald said...

I had to take Barclays to the Small Claims Court to get my money re-credited over their policy of not refunding accounts defrauded to previously used creditors; my account was defrauded via the UK's largest budget airline and largest hotel booker, but because I'd used both myself in the past they refused to re-credit.

And I say re-credit carefully. Under UK bank law, once you have made a deposit, the money belongs to the bank, not to you. You are merely one of the bank's creditors. So when money is defrauded from your account it is the bank that is the victim of the crime - not you. Hence the police will not accept crime reports from account holders, only from banks. And these are few and far between.

To sue them, you need to rely on breach of implied contract condition (using the protection of the Unfair Contract Terms Act as a consumer)and on the Tort of negligence. In both cases you are recovering the credit due to you following the theft of money from them.

No, it never got to court. When they got the summons they paid up on condition I withdrew the case - cost me £25 in court fees, but I got over a grand back.

Cal said...

I recently contacted First Security Services and am glad that I did! They were quite Cal informative with my needs and addressed my wants for the security services. Very professional and even started the work sooner than expected.

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