Question posted in the Criminal Law category relating to Gauteng
Good Day I would like to know if I can hold my bank responsible for funds lost due to fraud. The respective bank app does not verify account holder with account number (only at an ATM) and if the app did do this verification I would not have lost my money as I would have immediately known something was wrong
Information Requested by Lawyer
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
This is a request for information so that I can understand your question and give you a proper answer.
Can you please explain a little bit more about what happened?
If I understand you correctly, somebody gave you an account number to make a payment into, along with 'their' name and they told you that it was their account.
You made the payment into the account number that you were given.
It turns out, however, that the account number is NOT linked to that person's name and it actually belongs to a third party who you have no idea who it is.
It then turned out that there was some sort of SCAM, and you are upset because you paid money into the account number and it has now gone to somebody else.
Also, what outcome would you like from this whole thing?
Awaiting your further information.
Information provided by client
I was busy with purchasing a car. Everything looked correct I even had a full report done on the vehicle to ensure it was not stolen, accident history everything. On completing the payment it was agreed for them to deliver the vehicle which was to be the following day at 12pm. I kept following up from 12pm until 15:30 when the agent told me sorry it was a scam. I was given an "dealership account number" to pay the funds into which but the Capitec App apparently does not verify the account holder and the account number correspond which I only found out when I went to Capitec to report the matter in hopes of maybe still been able to get some of the money back. I was informed that only at the ATM does Capitec have the function to verify account holder to account number. I know if the App had the same function I would not have done the payment because it would have alerted me something is not right. I would not have lost R21000 (also apparently these people stalled us so they can withdraw the cash at ATM that means that there should have still been some of the funds for Capitec to retirieve as they have a daily limit of R5000 to ensure safety of not been able to be forced to withdraw huge amounts when been held up. Yet I was told there was no money left
Answer to the Question
Okay, so basically you believed them that the bank details which they gave you were correct, and that the details actually belonged to this "dealership account number", and you made the payment without insisting on a letter from the bank to confirm the details.
While I completely understand this and that you were caught up by a SCAM, I must tell you that I've helped a number of people like this in the past, and none of them have successfully held the bank to task at all.
The Ombudsman for Banking Services has held that it is the consumer whose task it is to check, and verify, bank account details - not the bank's job to do this for the consumer.
Also, the ATM doesn't automatically confirm the bank account details; it is only an option that you can select - if you so wish.
In my opinion, I don't see how the bank has acted negligently in any way. It appears that the obligation was on you to ensure that the bank account details were correct and that you made the payment into the right account. Unfortunately, you didn't do it.
Imagine a situation where you were handing over cash, and a third party arrived to collect the money and told you that "Bob sent me." Wouldn't you telephone Bob to confirm that you can give this third party the money?
Wouldn't you do everything you could to verify that you were giving the money to the right person?
You should, with respect (and I know that you're going to be upset by this), have asked for a bank letter confirming proof of the bank account information.
I don't think that the bank will assist you, and I also don't think that the ombudsman will assist you.