Bank Fraud Disaster
Image credit: www.theguardian.com
A teacher, Jude Grundy, and her family found out the hard way that banks are not fool proof and that people can ruin your life without you knowing until it is too late. In case any of you are unaware, Barclays is a British bank headquartered in London. It is a worldwide bank with set-ups in retail, wholesale and investment banking, as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards which gave the Grundy family a sense of security. Unfortunately, that did not last long. A fraud called the bank, claiming to be Jude Grundy and changed her address and other essential details in her account. They also opened a second account with a loan and an overdraft in Jude Grundy’s name. With the new card, the offenders obtained a £24,000 loan from the bank and stole £4,000 in savings from Jude and her family.
After £2000 was moved into this new account, Barclays decided that there was some suspicious activity and shut down the account. A day later, the family received a letter telling them that the bank will shut their account and they must withdraw any funds. This of course was impossible as the bank already closed their account beforehand.
The family was supposed to be moving house, however, as they could not access any funds this was no longer possible. Whilst her account was closed, her direct debits and other bills were left unpaid whilst the offenders went on a spending spree.
Jude said, “I still don’t know how the fraudsters were able to call up Barclays, change my address, and get a loan. I have been told they had lots of information on me, but I have two passwords on the account which I do not think the fraudsters were asked for, and I have certainly never divulged them to anyone else.”
A spokesperson from Barclays said that the episode has not been the bank’s best hour. The couple were paid £1000 in compensation for the failures, their car tax was paid (this was one of the direct debits that was unpaid.) All other direct debits have now been reinstated, the loan had been cancelled, and all of the families’ savings has been restored. All of this can really make a person worry about how easily someone can get into their bank account and ruin their lives.
How do you feel about the situation? Do you think the family did something to cause this? Was it a fault on the bank’s side? Or do you think the criminals were just incredibly smart?