‘You have insufficient funds’ says cashpoint

At a time where the most unlikely places fall prey to fraudulent internet activities in the UK, now is a time that we need to know our enemies when it comes to consumer security.

This is how I came to have my funds illegally withdrawn, got it sorted as quickly as possible and how you can safeguard against this.

It started with an ATM refusal of money from my current account. I checked other ATMs, and found that this was a recurring problem. I returned to my bank’s ATM and read the mini statement. I had lost £1700 in less than two days.

I was obliged to go to the bank in the morning and to cancel the card. On reflection, with live statement updates, the branch pulled-up information on where the funds were being drawn from. And also how it was withdrawn. I learnt that the funds had been taken by using my signature – card cloning.

I was asked to fill out declaration forms stating that I had no knowledge of these transactions. As a result direct debits would be cancelled and only be reset once the account had been cleared of all fraudulent transactions. Finally, everything was refunded in two weeks.

It’s really worth looking at a separate savings/expenses account – perhaps not even with the same bank as you have your current account.

Finally, here are a few tips to safeguard against this happening to you:

1. Keep an eye on your accounts

Internet banking can be an easy and fast way to make sure nothing is happening without your knowledge; this is a free additional perk from most banks.

2. Double-check your agreed overdraft limit

Granted, having the laxity of a large margin for unexpected expenses can be good. But if something like this does happen, minus-credit exceeding a smaller overdraft limit will make the account deny further money to be withdrawn.

3.Notify as many people and departments as possible

My credit rating was said to be at risk, even though it wasn’t my fault. Letters kept coming and money was even transferred between my savings and current account to make up differences needed to make payments. Just because your branch looks into it this doesn’t mean that head office will issue warnings against you. Make sure your branch communicates with the right departments.

4. Shop safely

Online and in store, shop only where you know is reputable. Don’t give out your pin, change passwords regularly and keep card cancellation numbers in your phone’s address book.

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