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(Guardian)   "Hi, I entered the wrong account number when I set up my direct deposit two years ago; can I have my £26,000 back?" "NOPE"   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 77
    More: Dumbass, bank statements, bank accounts, data protection, wire transfer  
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9996 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Feb 2013 at 7:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-10 07:22:56 AM
who the fark gets 26,000 for free in an account and doesn't alert the authorities?
 
2013-02-10 07:25:08 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: who the fark gets 26,000 for free in an account and doesn't alert the authorities?


Well, it becomes ours.
 
2013-02-10 07:25:35 AM
She didn't make sure it was ok after the first month?
 
2013-02-10 07:29:07 AM
I could understand losing track of a few hundred pounds/dollars here and there. But your entire salary for two farking years? Must be nice to have that much go missing and not notice it.

(Yeah, I know that £1000/month isn't a grand fortune, but it's a LOT of money if that's all you earn.)
 
2013-02-10 07:29:53 AM
If it's possible for someone to not notice that kind of money not going into their account, then it's also possible that someone didn't notice all of that money going into their account either.

However, beings that it was spent and didn't just accumulate in said wrong account, then I'm kinda doubting it.

Someone's a real jerk, and laughed all the way to the ATM.
 
2013-02-10 07:32:36 AM
Is this the thread where everyone mocks this woman's intelligence due to her making a simple mistake?

Of course it is.
 
2013-02-10 07:32:58 AM
well then the govt. should just mint a £26,000 commermative silver coin made out $1 of actual silver
 
2013-02-10 07:34:30 AM
So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

/banks are thieves
 
2013-02-10 07:34:43 AM
I guarantee you if it were the bank that was out 26K, they'd find a way to get it back from the accidental recipient, even if it meant sending someone over to break kneecaps or force them to watch Absolutely Fabulous.

That said, I fail to see how any of this is the bank's fault. Sure, they should give her a break about one transfer - which they did - but two frakking years? No. Lots of things are the bank's fault, but this ain't one of 'em.
 
2013-02-10 07:35:05 AM
for one, how could you not notice that mistake after the first month?

for two, wouldn't the recipient rather repay the money with interest than go to prison? seems like a pretty clear choice to me---stealing 26k sterling likely earns a few years in the slammer...
 
2013-02-10 07:36:30 AM

austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

/banks are thieves


not if you take that money and buy $100,000 in gold.  see they can't take gold away
 
2013-02-10 07:37:00 AM
Of course a bank just can't hand over some ones details because you made a mistake, it's called the Data Protection Act and enforces the basic right of privacy. If you want to find out you need to persuade a judge that you have a legal right to the private information so you can then start to recover your money.

You made the mistake, its up to you to sort it out.

/would be nice not to notice £1,000 a month missing from my account.
 
2013-02-10 07:39:28 AM

nucal: She didn't make sure it was ok after the first month?


This.

Clearly this woman is an idiot.  So is her husband for that matter.
But at the same time, they also must have SO MUCH disposable income that they didn't even bother to check on that account for over 2 years.  So they are in good shape either way.
 
2013-02-10 07:39:42 AM
If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Or to check out your accounts online and verify your biggest transactions (debit or credit).
 
2013-02-10 07:41:33 AM
One of my coworkers puts all of her paychecks into savings/investment/whatever and doesn't touch any of it. They live off her husband's salary and are putting away a ton of money, that's about the only situation I can think where it wouldn't be monitored...but my coworker watches her investments like a hawk, so I dunno.
 
2013-02-10 07:46:44 AM

LordOfThePings: If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Or to check out your accounts online and verify your biggest transactions (debit or credit).


Yeah, that. The wife and I sit down at least once per week and check all our accounts together to confirm everything is right.

Take some responsibility for yourself.
 
2013-02-10 07:48:21 AM
FTFA: "We have been reluctant to tell anyone we know about the error, so have dwelled heavily on it ourselves. It leaves a sick feeling in my stomach to think someone has been spending all that hard-earned money and I've been going to work - running my own hairdresser's business - when I could have been enjoying a little more time at home with my two sons."

How the frack do you pay yourself, and not notice that you didn't get paid?  For 2 years.  Smells fishier than the soup I had as part of the Lunar New Years feast
 
2013-02-10 07:50:49 AM
I've read enough Fark to know things can get Prisony if you spend the money, so the first few months, I'd ignore it. But after the first year, I think I'd go all Spendy McSpenderson assuming there's no way human error could be responsible and it was some tech glitch no bank software could detect after 4 fiscal qtrs. After all, the recipient had no idea it was a woman's salary, it was just deposits from a mystery account.
 
2013-02-10 07:55:09 AM

irgunner: I've read enough Fark to know things can get Prisony if you spend the money, so the first few months, I'd ignore it. But after the first year, I think I'd go all Spendy McSpenderson assuming there's no way human error could be responsible and it was some tech glitch no bank software could detect after 4 fiscal qtrs. After all, the recipient had no idea it was a woman's salary, it was just deposits from a mystery account.


don't you have enough money already??

i mean what more could you POSSIBLY want
 
2013-02-10 07:55:13 AM
It kind of makes sense, it's not the banks fault you screwed up and they shouldn't have to pay you. What she has to do is sue the person and then she'll have a name. Sure it sucks you gotta do that but you're an idiot for not checking your statements.
 
2013-02-10 08:02:42 AM

durbnpoisn: nucal: She didn't make sure it was ok after the first month?

This.

Clearly this woman is an idiot.  So is her husband for that matter.
But at the same time, they also must have SO MUCH disposable income that they didn't even bother to check on that account for over 2 years.  So they are in good shape either way.


Actually they overdrew the account and had to cut back but still never realised what was going on. Sounds like they are just idiots.
 
2013-02-10 08:04:18 AM
It occurs to me that if you get an extra 12K quid a year and don't declare it on your tax returns, SOMEone in London is going to track you down and exile you to Wales or make you perform on Britain's Got Talent (or whatever they do in the UK to hardened tax criminals). Assuming of course that UK tax laws are similar to the US's. Maybe this "Sally" person should have a chat with someone at HMRC.
 
2013-02-10 08:09:20 AM
Every employer I've ever had requires a voided check to setup direct deposit to verify account information.
 
2013-02-10 08:09:30 AM
So, some random person is taking this woman's money and simply because s/he refuses to pay it back, the bank simply says "There's nothing we can do.  And we can't tell you who took your money."

In a way, isn't the bank aiding and abetting this theft?  Or at least an accessory?
 
2013-02-10 08:16:38 AM

YodaBlues: Every employer I've ever had requires a voided check to setup direct deposit to verify account information.


Our employees have the ability to change their direct deposit information through an employee website. If they opt to do it that way instead of bringing us a paper form and banking information, whatever they enter will be accepted as valid. It's on them if it's incorrect.
 
2013-02-10 08:21:44 AM

LordOfThePings: If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Or to check out your accounts online and verify your biggest transactions (debit or credit).


This.

Even if I don't make a transaction, I still check my online statement regularly.
 
2013-02-10 08:22:57 AM

Addicted: So, some random person is taking this woman's money and simply because s/he refuses to pay it back, the bank simply says "There's nothing we can do.  And we can't tell you who took your money."

In a way, isn't the bank aiding and abetting this theft?  Or at least an accessory?


No, the bank is only refusing to do so until they get a court order.  Which should be a fairly simple thing for the woman to get if she pursues legal action.
 
2013-02-10 08:23:19 AM
This *would* be a good scam. Have your money go to a friend's account for two years while you spend it. Suddenly 'discover' you don't have your money, and demand the bank pay you back.

And yeah, if this was the bank's money, you best be sure they'd be taking back by any means.

When I owned a business, I had the bank decide to debit my account on a loan that was two days overdue (when I got billed through the mail), right before payday, leaving me scrambling to get my people paid on time. In fact, BB&T was quite fond of just yanking money out of your account for any credit card or loan bills you had with them. Need to buy equipment to finish a job to get the money to pay them, and everyone else? Too bad, they'll just yank the money, and tell you to go fark yourself. Better find another way to buy equipment to finish the job so you can pay them next month.
 
2013-02-10 08:29:09 AM
I use online only banking and don't even have checks. I check my account daily. Sometimes twice a day. If there were any kind of error on there, I'd email immediately then call if it were not fixed or I had not resolved within 24 hours. There is no way I'd have that kind of money go missing from my account for two years, just because I know mistakes happen and I don't want one anywhere near my account. That's why I'm so obsessive about checking my account.

I think everyone in this story, the bank that apparently doesn't confirm information they already have on file, the woman who needs to learn to double check important digits, her husband who should check deposits as well as debits if he's going to "handle the bank account" and the spendthrift who is now seeing their questionably financed party end, needs a boot to the head, really.
 
2013-02-10 08:29:22 AM
"And now, to her horror, Sally is discovering she has almost no chance of getting back a penny of the £26,650 transferred in error."

Of course she has a chance of getting back a penny of it, and I would guess a decent chance of (eventually) getting back the bulk of it. But "many tears and numerous subsequent calls and letters" won't do it. The bank isn't going to act as her solicitor (or the police) regardless of how much she cries at them.

/the thief is a dumbass for refusing to come to some arrangement before it goes further
 
2013-02-10 08:31:27 AM
You have the persons account number use it to by 26000  worth of stuff,
 
2013-02-10 08:36:09 AM

ElBarto79: It kind of makes sense, it's not the banks fault you screwed up and they shouldn't have to pay you.


It kind of is the bank's fault.  Their software asked for the name on the account.  It should have been confirming that the number and name matched, just as a teller would.  Instead, it asked for the name then threw the data away.
 
2013-02-10 08:41:48 AM

sendtodave: Is this the thread where everyone mocks this woman's intelligence due to her making a simple mistake?

Of course it is.


We're not mocking her for mixing up the numbers, everyone has done that before. We're finding it amazing that she didn't notice that she wasn't getting her salary deposited for two years. She or her husband never balanced a checkbook or logged into an account online in all that time? I still feel bad for her, but it's harder to fix mistakes like that if you let it go on for so long.
 
2013-02-10 08:45:03 AM

Madman drummers bummers: It occurs to me that if you get an extra 12K quid a year and don't declare it on your tax returns, SOMEone in London is going to track you down and exile you to Wales or make you perform on Britain's Got Talent (or whatever they do in the UK to hardened tax criminals). Assuming of course that UK tax laws are similar to the US's. Maybe this "Sally" person should have a chat with someone at HMRC.


Employees are on PAYE where the employer takes the tax out and send it to the government. What you get in your pay check is yours to keep. The vast majority of UK people have never had to file a tax return in their lives.
 
2013-02-10 08:52:03 AM
If this were a bank error, the bank would probably end up paying back the balance, however it is not the bank's place to question where their client's send their money, only to be sure the money is transferred.  The bank only did as they were requested to do.  I'm assuming that the bank has already notified the recipient of the funds and warned them of some of the possible legal scenarios that  may occur should they choose not to pay back the rightful owner of that money.

That being said, I wouldn't say the woman is totally at fault for not being able to keep her finances straight.  I'm not sure whether its a home business or a proper commercial business that she runs, but either way, she is probably nickle and diming herself keeping up with business expenses, trying to run a household with kids in it, and for the most part, not seeing too many reasons to believe her money is being syphoned off 1000 pounds a month as, for the most part, the bills are getting paid.  It sounds like they have a very active account and she has relinquished her financial responsibilities into the "capable" hands of her husband, which. in many households is not all that unusual.  Her biggest mistake here would be not learning how to get on line and correctly read an on line statement.

Things she could do better:
1  separate her business and home expenses with separate accounts
2  learn how to get into her on line account to verify monies have been debited and credited
3  keep a separate personal account from the husband that she can manage better
4  keep a budget plan current so anomalies in payments can be better detected
5  keep all receipts and learn to post them as you go along
6  hire a book keeper if the finances are that crazy
7  hire a lawyer (or at least consult with one) about getting your money back
 
2013-02-10 08:56:01 AM
The last paragraph is actually one of the most important in the article. I absolutely refuse to 'go paperless' on my banking and security accounts. Cheapskates can keep paying postage, and I get hardcopy of all activity every month, as well as online access.
 
2013-02-10 09:04:17 AM

MythDragon: This *would* be a good scam. Have your money go to a friend's account for two years while you spend it. Suddenly 'discover' you don't have your money, and demand the bank pay you back.

And yeah, if this was the bank's money, you best be sure they'd be taking back by any means.

When I owned a business, I had the bank decide to debit my account on a loan that was two days overdue (when I got billed through the mail), right before payday, leaving me scrambling to get my people paid on time. In fact, BB&T was quite fond of just yanking money out of your account for any credit card or loan bills you had with them. Need to buy equipment to finish a job to get the money to pay them, and everyone else? Too bad, they'll just yank the money, and tell you to go fark yourself. Better find another way to buy equipment to finish the job so you can pay them next month.


Wow- it almost sounds like that evil BB&T is making you pay off your current obligations before allowing you to incur new ones.  The point of this being is that you don't get a short term interest free loan at their expense. That being said, they are- like most banks-- pretty evil about stacking your bills so that as you approach your limit, they debit the largest checks first often leaving you with a bunch of little checks that you end up with overdraft penalties on.
 
2013-02-10 09:05:14 AM

LordOfThePings: If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Or to check out your accounts online and verify your biggest transactions (debit or credit).


Paperless records seem kind of bullshiat to me. My bank's online site only shows six months worth of transactions, but I'm pretty sure that a bank needs to keep financial records for a hell of a lot longer than six months. It is such a spurious limit that I'd almost want to go back to paper records just out of spite.

/ Yes, I understand that data storage isn't free, particularly when you're a major, national (or multi-national) business with millions of customers and having what is a fair chance of being literally tons of data to store. I should think a financial institution would need to keep records of its transactions for longer than six months. Hell, I, as a private citizen, am expected to keep records for at least six years, on the chance the government decides to audit me. I'm pretty sure I can't just say "Oh yeah, in Aug 2011 I made X and spent Y. Oh, you need details? Well, data storage is expensive! I don't have that information anymore."

/ Yes, I also understand that most banks let you download a file that can be read by most financial management programs to make such personal recordkeeping easier. It's still ridiculous for the bank's site to lack that information, because they need to keep that information anyway.
 
2013-02-10 09:08:11 AM

Addicted: So, some random person is taking this woman's money and simply because s/he refuses to pay it back, the bank simply says "There's nothing we can do.  And we can't tell you who took your money."

In a way, isn't the bank aiding and abetting this theft?  Or at least an accessory?


How is it theft? She instructed her bank to pay money into a bank account with a sort code and account number. She got the account number wrong. Therefore, she instructed her bank to pay her money into someone else's account.

That is not theft.

BraveNewCheneyWorld: ElBarto79: It kind of makes sense, it's not the banks fault you screwed up and they shouldn't have to pay you.

It kind of is the bank's fault.  Their software asked for the name on the account.  It should have been confirming that the number and name matched, just as a teller would.  Instead, it asked for the name then threw the data away.


When I've set up online payments before, what you're taking to be an account name is actually a reference  name. It's what shows up on the payee's statement as being the source of the payment. For bill payments, you'd enter your bill reference number, for example. So, from the lucky recipient's POV, he's been getting £1000 a month from "Sally".

The recipient should have done the right thing and notified his bank, but what if he also doesn't check his statements? It's not really his problem.
 
2013-02-10 09:10:01 AM

austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?


It took eight posts for someone to mention this little fact?
 
2013-02-10 09:11:54 AM

Niveras: LordOfThePings: If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Or to check out your accounts online and verify your biggest transactions (debit or credit).

Paperless records seem kind of bullshiat to me. My bank's online site only shows six months worth of transactions, but I'm pretty sure that a bank needs to keep financial records for a hell of a lot longer than six months. It is such a spurious limit that I'd almost want to go back to paper records just out of spite.

/ Yes, I understand that data storage isn't free, particularly when you're a major, national (or multi-national) business with millions of customers and having what is a fair chance of being literally tons of data to store. I should think a financial institution would need to keep records of its transactions for longer than six months. Hell, I, as a private citizen, am expected to keep records for at least six years, on the chance the government decides to audit me. I'm pretty sure I can't just say "Oh yeah, in Aug 2011 I made X and spent Y. Oh, you need details? Well, data storage is expensive! I don't have that information anymore."

/ Yes, I also understand that most banks let you download a file that can be read by most financial management programs to make such personal recordkeeping easier. It's still ridiculous for the bank's site to lack that information, because they need to keep that information anyway.


You can go back as far as you want- for a fee.  The secret to avoid these charges would be taking the time monthly, bi-monthly, semi-annually or whatever, to download your statement -hardcopy at minimum-- and keep it in a secure area.
 
2013-02-10 09:13:07 AM
I call BS. She gambled it away did something else with it and doesn't want her husband to find out.
 
gja [TotalFark]
2013-02-10 09:13:33 AM
"Hi, I entered the wrong account number when I set up my direct deposit two years ago; can I have my £26,000 back?"

"NOPE"

"I beg your pardon?"
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2013-02-10 09:22:38 AM

BullBearMS: austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

It took eight posts for someone to mention this little fact?


If the bank accidentally put money into her account, and she withdrew it and refused to repay it, would the bank (a) cry and write ineffectual letters about it, (b) complain to the newspaper, or (c) send lawyers/cops after her?
 
2013-02-10 09:22:48 AM
Been here and done that as a payroll administrator.

How did this go on this long?  Most people would miss it after the second transaction.
 
2013-02-10 09:24:09 AM
Shame on her for not double checking and making sure the deposits were going through for at least the first couple months.

Shame on the other account holder for not reporting the deposits.

This becomes an avenue for an extortion scam in my twisted head.  Scary.
 
2013-02-10 09:27:10 AM

BullBearMS: austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

It took eight posts for someone to mention this little fact?


If it were a bank error, the bank would correct the error and then could take it all back as they know who- and deal directly-- with the recipients of the incorrectly routed money.  Not everybody has that kind of cheese so I imagine arrangements for payment would have to be made.

If the mistake were made on the part of the party sending the funds, then it would be up to that party to correct the error and seek repayment.  The bank's job is not to decipher your wishes, only to carry them out.  If it takes you two years to discover the mistake, so be it.  At this point, the bank's only responsibility would be to stop payment to the incorrect recipient, notify them of the error, and then resume payment to the corrected account.

It is up to the payer to reclaim the lost funds from the recipient of the of the ill-gotten gains.  The catch 22 on this is that the bank, in order to retain confidentiality, does not reveal client's names or other personal information, nor are they required to act upon the claim.
 
2013-02-10 09:35:28 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: BullBearMS: austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

It took eight posts for someone to mention this little fact?

If the bank accidentally put money into her account, and she withdrew it and refused to repay it, would the bank (a) cry and write ineffectual letters about it, (b) complain to the newspaper, or (c) send lawyers/cops after her?


If she had the recipient's name, she could aso send a lawyer after them.  The problem is that the bank does not provide personal information.  I'm sure there are ways of legally compelling the bank to share the recipient's name if the recipient had been involved in some sort of illegal activity in which the payer believed her money to be routed correctly.  But as the recipient did nothing wrong (from a legal stand point) or was not directly involved in the misrouting of the money, there will probably be very little she can do to recover her funds.

I would assume the bank, in an effort to retain their reputation and customers, would make some effort to lean on the recipient  via correspondence but probably are not obliged to do much more.
 
2013-02-10 09:37:05 AM

Trixie212: YodaBlues: Every employer I've ever had requires a voided check to setup direct deposit to verify account information.

Our employees have the ability to change their direct deposit information through an employee website. If they opt to do it that way instead of bringing us a paper form and banking information, whatever they enter will be accepted as valid. It's on them if it's incorrect.


Ahh, cool. Didn't even know that was an option. I guess for circumstances like this, I can see why most employer's do the check thing instead.
 
2013-02-10 09:44:45 AM
There are some surprisingly rational posts in this thread. This surprises me.

This lady allowed herself to get hosed. She was responsible for directing the funds and monitoring them and she failed on both counts. As mentioned, the bank has probably notified the recipient of the money and that is really all they have to do until a judge gets involved. It's just not their fault.

Once a court order shows up they'll just hand over the contact infos and whatever dickface collected and spent 26k of someone else's money will have to work out a payment arrangement.  Who knows, though. Maybe there's no law about spending mystery money.
 
2013-02-10 09:45:25 AM
Good to know the bank doesn't bother to check that the name you enter on the deposit form matches the name of the account holder.
 
2013-02-10 09:45:59 AM
Real Women Drink Akvavit: I think everyone in this story, the bank that apparently doesn't confirm information they already have on file, the woman who needs to learn to double check important digits, her husband who should check deposits as well as debits if he's going to "handle the bank account" and the spendthrift who is now seeing their questionably financed party end, needs a boot to the head, really.

Yea, there isn't anyone in the story who should be proud of their actions, but least of all the lady and her husband. You're dealing with your money, keep better track of that stuff!
 
2013-02-10 10:03:41 AM

skinink: Real Women Drink Akvavit: I think everyone in this story, the bank that apparently doesn't confirm information they already have on file, the woman who needs to learn to double check important digits, her husband who should check deposits as well as debits if he's going to "handle the bank account" and the spendthrift who is now seeing their questionably financed party end, needs a boot to the head, really.

Yea, there isn't anyone in the story who should be proud of their actions, but least of all the lady and her husband. You're dealing with your money, keep better track of that stuff!


I know I'm repeating myself, but I still can't believe they went two years without noticing there weren't deposits (or worse, not checking accounts at all). I can maybe see missing a few if things are hectic, but come on. No one is that busy for that length of time, they're just not managing it at all.
 
2013-02-10 10:34:16 AM

sendtodave: Is this the thread where everyone mocks this woman's intelligence due to her making a simple mistake not being very intelligent?

Of course it is.


FTFY
 
2013-02-10 10:47:14 AM
Oh, just lawyer up Sally, let the professionals whose job it is to take money from people handle this one.
 
2013-02-10 11:22:04 AM

Madman drummers bummers: I guarantee you if it were the bank that was out 26K, they'd find a way to get it back from the accidental recipient, even if it meant sending someone over to break kneecaps or force them to watch Absolutely Fabulous.

That said, I fail to see how any of this is the bank's fault. Sure, they should give her a break about one transfer - which they did - but two frakking years? No. Lots of things are the bank's fault, but this ain't one of 'em.


Yeah, the bank did nothing wrong.  The clawed back the transfer that could be clawed back, they have no obligation beyond that.

Her beef is with the person who errantly received the money and wont return it.  Given the situation she's probably going to have to sue and I rather suspect they're judgment proof.
 
2013-02-10 11:26:11 AM

Loren: Madman drummers bummers: I guarantee you if it were the bank that was out 26K, they'd find a way to get it back from the accidental recipient, even if it meant sending someone over to break kneecaps or force them to watch Absolutely Fabulous.

That said, I fail to see how any of this is the bank's fault. Sure, they should give her a break about one transfer - which they did - but two frakking years? No. Lots of things are the bank's fault, but this ain't one of 'em.

Yeah, the bank did nothing wrong.  The clawed back the transfer that could be clawed back, they have no obligation beyond that.

Her beef is with the person who errantly received the money and wont return it.  Given the situation she's probably going to have to sue and I rather suspect they're judgment proof.


I agree. This is like she put cash in an envelope and wrote the wrong address on it. The Post Office did what she told them, it's not their fault the mail went to the wrong address. Except here she has no way of finding out who ended up with her money, unless she sues.
 
2013-02-10 11:43:28 AM

Addicted: So, some random person is taking this woman's money and simply because s/he refuses to pay it back, the bank simply says "There's nothing we can do.  And we can't tell you who took your money."

In a way, isn't the bank aiding and abetting this theft?  Or at least an accessory?


There are laws that protect privacy, more than likely the bank isn't legally allowed to reveal the name on the account and if they did they could be subject to criminal or civil action. It would be up to the person who made the error to go through the courts to get the info, one would hope the bank would cooperate as much as possible within the law.
 
2013-02-10 12:33:32 PM

YodaBlues: Every employer I've ever had requires a voided check to setup direct deposit to verify account information.


I did that, and my first paycheck was directed to a wrong account number.  I was paid by hard check, and I corrected my account number in our HR software, but I was wondering if it went to some other person.

But then I got thinking.  Account numbers are so long, intentionally so, such that a mistyping of a number by one digit would be very unlikely to deposit it to another account. For instance, my misdirected paycheck was returned back to my company as being an error.
 
2013-02-10 12:33:37 PM
"But Sally had incorrectly typed in just one of the eight digits in the account number - and the money was sent to the wrong person."

I call shenanigans. It seems very unlikely that a bank account number does not end in a check-digit that makes this sort of mistake completely impossible.
 
2013-02-10 12:34:57 PM

sendtodave: Is this the thread where everyone mocks this woman's intelligence due to her making a simple mistake?

Of course it is.


Oh god no. This is where we mock her for not keeping tabs for TWO FARKING YEARS! She's a dumbass, pure and simple.
 
2013-02-10 12:36:09 PM

capt.hollister: "But Sally had incorrectly typed in just one of the eight digits in the account number - and the money was sent to the wrong person."

I call shenanigans. It seems very unlikely that a bank account number does not end in a check-digit that makes this sort of mistake completely impossible.


Lol yeah, see my post immediately above yours for a csb
 
2013-02-10 01:17:11 PM
Okay, yes, the woman involved should have been checking her statements occasionally, but WTF kind of bank has account numbers without check digits? I realize that that's not foolproof, but it would prevent the vast majority of these cases from happening. A single wrong digit should cause the system to reject the entry. And why does the bank require you to provide other identifying info such as name, birthdate, etc. if they don't actually verify it? Sounds like there's a couple banks that need to bring their security measures into this century.
 
2013-02-10 01:25:18 PM
two years? if it makes it to court i'd flat out tell them that if you're that dense that you missed it for that long it's your problem not the banks or the person you were giving 1000/month to.
 
2013-02-10 02:52:34 PM

Norfolking Chance: Of course a bank just can't hand over some ones details because you made a mistake, it's called the Data Protection Act and enforces the basic right of privacy. If you want to find out you need to persuade a judge that you have a legal right to the private information so you can then start to recover your money.

You made the mistake, its up to you to sort it out.

/would be nice not to notice £1,000 a month missing from my account.


I think I'd notice ten bucks a month missing from my account.
 
2013-02-10 03:01:29 PM

evil saltine: Good to know the bank doesn't bother to check that the name you enter on the deposit form matches the name of the account holder.


Many years ago, there was a scam that pretty much was based on this.

When you would walk into a bank to make a deposit, the bank had blank deposit slips you could fill out.  The scammers would print their own version - that had an account number built in.  Apparently the banks would use the printed account number if available, and only look at hand written account numbers if the deposit slip didn't have a pre-printed account number.

So people fill out the deposit slip, make a deposit, and the money all goes to the scammers account.  The scammers would quickly withdraw the money and make a run for it, because a day or two later, there are going to be complaints and the bank would catch on.

I may not have the details exactly right, but it went something like that.
 
2013-02-10 03:05:35 PM
www.global-air.com

The bank is out nearly $270,000 when this woman spent a mistaken deposit to her account. Think how many overdraft charges they're going to have to collect ... what... a couple of days? Oh, never mind ... (new window)
 
2013-02-10 03:31:50 PM

JuggleGeek: evil saltine: Good to know the bank doesn't bother to check that the name you enter on the deposit form matches the name of the account holder.

Many years ago, there was a scam that pretty much was based on this.

When you would walk into a bank to make a deposit, the bank had blank deposit slips you could fill out.  The scammers would print their own version - that had an account number built in.  Apparently the banks would use the printed account number if available, and only look at hand written account numbers if the deposit slip didn't have a pre-printed account number.

So people fill out the deposit slip, make a deposit, and the money all goes to the scammers account.  The scammers would quickly withdraw the money and make a run for it, because a day or two later, there are going to be complaints and the bank would catch on.

I may not have the details exactly right, but it went something like that.


http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/deposit.asp


[A] new customer picked up a hefty batch of [blank] deposit slips, but he did not fill them out. Instead, he took them to premises where a typewriter equipped to write in magnetic-ink characters was available. Using this special typewriter, he imprinted his account number in magnetic ink at the bottom of the blank deposit forms. He then returned to the bank on different occasions and added these magnetically-printed forms to the neat pile of blank deposit slips in the trays. Then he went away and waited for the jackpot

Other customers streamed into the bank and, dipping into the trays of deposit slips, innocently recorded their own deposits in the usual way ... the computer funneled the deposits of scores of the bank's customers into the new depositor's account. And by the time the customers began to complain that checks they were issuing against their deposits were bouncing, the new depositor, to whose account other depositors had miraculously added a quarter of a million dollars, had drawn out a hundred thousand of it and disappeared.


Con man Frank W. Abagnale (of Catch Me If You Can fame) claims in his memoirs that he successfully pulled off this scam.
 
2013-02-10 03:44:51 PM

clowncar on fire: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: BullBearMS: austin_millbarge: So if the bank accidentally put $100000 in her account she wouldnt have to pay it back, right?

It took eight posts for someone to mention this little fact?

If the bank accidentally put money into her account, and she withdrew it and refused to repay it, would the bank (a) cry and write ineffectual letters about it, (b) complain to the newspaper, or (c) send lawyers/cops after her?

If she had the recipient's name, she could aso send a lawyer after them.  The problem is that the bank does not provide personal information.


I believe if she had a lawyer she would already have that info. The bank just won't provide it to her without being compelled, which is entirely sensible.
 
2013-02-10 03:47:40 PM

planes: [www.global-air.com image 150x200]

The bank is out nearly $270,000 when this woman spent a mistaken deposit to her account. Think how many overdraft charges they're going to have to collect ... what... a couple of days? Oh, never mind ... (new window)


The bank yanked back the amount that was still in the erroneously credited account, just like that. But they don't have access to the money that has already been withdrawn, so it is up to her to collect it for herself. Just like it would be up to them if they had made a similar error.
 
2013-02-10 06:09:01 PM

YodaBlues: Every employer I've ever had requires a voided check to setup direct deposit to verify account information.


She didn't set up Direct Deposit -- at least to the incorrect account.  She had her paycheck deposited into her HSBC account, and setup an auto-transfer each month to move £1000 of it to a joint account with another bank.  It actually sounds like she was trying to follow good savings policies (especially considering her limited income), but neither she nor her husband noticed the money was never arriving.

Greek: Okay, yes, the woman involved should have been checking her statements occasionally, but WTF kind of bank has account numbers without check digits? I realize that that's not foolproof, but it would prevent the vast majority of these cases from happening. A single wrong digit should cause the system to reject the entry. And why does the bank require you to provide other identifying info such as name, birthdate, etc. if they don't actually verify it? Sounds like there's a couple banks that need to bring their security measures into this century.


The check digit is a good point.  Routing numbers have check digits to ensure they're correct, but I suppose it would be up to the bank to determine if they want to include a check digit in the account number.  I know I've seen accounts that definitely didn't have check digits involved.

As for asking for additional info, that's mainly used by the banks and the government when they are looking for money laundering-type transactions, or to help identify problems when customers notice.  It doesn't provide any security and there's really nothing for the banks to do about it.  The ACH system used for these types of transfers is not exactly bleeding edge technology, and  £1000 transfers aren't nearly large enough to trigger any kind of in-depth investigation by the bank or government.

That said, the receiver's statements should show the name that was entered for those deposits on their account statements (essentially just acts as a memo line unfortunately), so it would be VERY clear that they weren't the intended recipient.
 
2013-02-10 08:47:24 PM
I'd say, it would be pretty difficult and annoying to have to find all that money for the bank to have to do that. On the other hand if it was the bank that was missing the money, they'd get it back regardless.
 
2013-02-11 08:27:46 AM
If there is a wider lesson in Sally's story, it is not to agree to paperless statements.

Because someone who doesn't check an account or notice they aren't getting a paycheck for 2 years would definitely open and carefully examine their statement if ink and paper were involved.
 
2013-02-11 02:15:23 PM
FTFA: "By law, a person is not entitled to rely on another's mistake to keep money to which they were not entitled," a Nationwide spokesman says. But he adds: "The final payment transferred was recovered, but previous payments were no longer in the account. The recipient has been contacted and we have established she doesn't have the funds to repay."

At least we know the recipient of the money was a female.  Few more little tidbits of info like this and we'll have our culprit.
 
2013-02-11 10:10:11 PM
Here's another story in which I don't know who to root for.

The woman?  Yes, I know, she let her husband handle the money.  It's old-fashioned and quaint.  Yet, if I were hubby, I'd feel more cherished if my wife helpd me discover such errors.  I didn't marry Stupid for this reason.

The bank?  Aside from the whole matter of not being able to get it back because the recipient refused. there's this passage:

FTA: The fact she correctly entered her surname as the intended recipient at Nationwide, alongside the correct sort code, counted for nothing. When banks transfer money, they use only the sort code and account number - it turns out that account names are irrelevant.

I despise filling out forms.  Most times there are many forms, and about half of each duplicates half of the information asked for in the next.  The redundancy is irritating to me, yet I try to calm my nerves with the notion that redundancy serves a purpose- that when one or more of these don't match, someone will sound an alarm.  Apparently this bank collects valuable information, but does not USE it for anything meaningful.


Yeah, I don't think I can take any sides here.  Morons all around.
 
2013-02-12 10:16:32 AM

rockforever: I'd say, it would be pretty difficult and annoying to have to find all that money for the bank to have to do that. On the other hand if it was the bank that was missing the money, they'd get it back regardless.


And how, exactly, would they get it back?  Magic?  No, what they would do in order to get it back would be to hire a lawyer and turn them loose on whoever had the money.  And that's exactly what Sally is going to have to do if she want's to see any of this cash.
 
2013-02-13 08:50:10 AM

SkunkWerks: Here's another story in which I don't know who to root for.

The woman?  Yes, I know, she let her husband handle the money.  It's old-fashioned and quaint.  Yet, if I were hubby, I'd feel more cherished if my wife helpd me discover such errors.  I didn't marry Stupid for this reason.

The bank?  Aside from the whole matter of not being able to get it back because the recipient refused. there's this passage:

FTA: The fact she correctly entered her surname as the intended recipient at Nationwide, alongside the correct sort code, counted for nothing. When banks transfer money, they use only the sort code and account number - it turns out that account names are irrelevant.

I despise filling out forms.  Most times there are many forms, and about half of each duplicates half of the information asked for in the next.  The redundancy is irritating to me, yet I try to calm my nerves with the notion that redundancy serves a purpose- that when one or more of these don't match, someone will sound an alarm.  Apparently this bank collects valuable information, but does not USE it for anything meaningful.


Yeah, I don't think I can take any sides here.  Morons all around.


If you put cash in an envelope and write the correct name and address you want it to go to but put the wrong house number then it will go to the wrong house. How would the post office be liable? Or be able to get it back?
 
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