Most banks in the UK have stated that if people are defrauded by one of their ATMs that they will be refunded the money. However, it has recently been revealed that it is becoming incredibly difficult to access these funds if you have lost them, despite promises from the bank.
ATM fraud is one of the most frequent types of fraud in the country and it involves criminals tampering with cash machine so that they can record the information on your card and access your pin number. This is a process that is known as ‘skimming.’
The marketing around banks in the UK seems to suggest that if you are defrauded that they will refund you the money in a prompt manner. In reality however banks are seeming to either cause an extraordinary amount of delay on this refund, or fail to offer it at all. Usually they will give some excuse that means they don’t have to pay out, and after the banks refuse to pay, the consumer has little choice but to take them to court.
Banks are stating that because you are using the cash machine with your card and pin that you are responsible for the transaction. However, the cash machine is only confirming that the person has the card and knows the pain, not that they are actually you.
Despite this, banks are finding ways to refuse refunds because of this reasoning. A barrister in the UK, Stephen Mason has written about this problem and the legal issues associated with it.
He lost a case in 2009 where he represented a man who had been defrauded by a cash machine – he went up against a bank and unfortunately lost. Banks can prevent this fraud by upgrading their cash machines, but this is a slow and expensive process.