In a recent AFCA case, a scam victim was awarded $245,000 in compensation (plus interest and expenses) in respect of an investment scam dispute with the ANZ Bank.
The dispute concerned ANZ Bank processing an investment scam transaction when the Bank was aware the client was being scammed. The customer attempted to make three transactions to scammers. When the Bank became aware of the first transaction the customer was contacted and asked questions about the legitimacy of the transaction. After discussions with the customer the Bank did not process the first transaction and reversed the second transaction. However, the Bank allowed a third transaction to proceed resulting in the customer losing $245,000 to scammers.
AFCA held that the ANZ Bank:
• Was on notice of a real or serious possibility the complainant was being defrauded and should not have processed the disputed transfer without additional inquiry;
Did not take adequate steps before processing the disputed transfer;
• Should not have processed such a large transfer without making additional inquiries about the transaction. Had the bank made further inquiries it would likely have prevented the complainant inadvertently sending funds to a scammer and suffering a very significant loss; and
• In the circumstances, it is not fair for the complainant to bear any of the loss, or for loss to be apportioned between the parties.
This is another important victory for scam victims in making Banks responsible for failing to prevent Scams. At FDL we are passionate in representing scam victims to recover losses caused by scams. If you are a victim of a scam and need assistance, please contact FDL on 1300 433 533.