'I FEEL LIKE A CRIMINAL' Fraud victim slams Lloyds after having £7,000 stolen from his account but the bank REFUSES to repay him
Matthew Bell denies he made the withdrawals from a branch in Worcester in 2015 - and is now planning on taking the bank to court
Matthew Bell says he feels like he has been treated like a criminal after Lloyds Bank rejected his fraud claim
A FRAUD victim who had £7,000 stolen from his account has slammed Lloyds after the bank refused to refund him.
Matthew Stephen Bell said he was made to feel like a criminal after he had his wallet stolen while at a work conference in 2015 - and is going to take legal action to try and get his money back.
Mr Bell was at the event at a Holiday Inn in Stratford when he noticed his wallet was missing.
Later that afternoon he received two calls from someone claiming to be from Lloyds saying there had been unusual activity on his account and £1,000 had been withdrawn.
The supposed staff member assured him the money would be returned as soon as possible but when he checked his account the following week, he was shocked to discover that a total of £7,100 had been taken - with two withdrawals made at a branch in Worcester.
Whoever had withdrawn the money at the branch had used Mr Bell's pin successfully - leading to the bank to reject his claim on the basis that it must have been him who made the withdrawals.
But Mr Bell, 40, denies that it's him on CCTV footage from the branch and that he has no way of explaining how his pin number was used.
The chartered surveyor said: "It has been unbelievable. I feel they've refused to acknowledge that I was a victim of crime.
Mr Bell denies that this CCTV footage is of him in the Worcester branch the day the withdrawals were made
"The CCTV footage they've got doesn't look anything like me. They say I was in the Worcester branch but at that time I was at the hotel.
"I was shocked to hear they were claiming it was me on the CCTV.
"They think I must have given my pin out over the phone but there was no way I did that - I've always known not to give it out.
"Whoever did it had my wallet with my driving licence which they could have used as ID."
When Mr Bell first contacted the bank, he was told that he would be refunded all of his money.
But after then rejecting his claim, Mr Bell took his complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which can settle complaints between customers and financial firms.
But Mr Bell accused the FOS of "colluding" with the banking industry after it failed to find in favour of him - and now he's going to begin legal action to try and get his money back.
"I didn't feel like they were on our side at all," he said.
"It just seemed like there was some collusion between them and the bank.
"The next stage now is to go to court. There's a one-off fee of about £400 to pay but I don't want to let it lie."
Bank scams and fraud has become a huge concern for both consumers and regulators.
TV's Gloria Hunniford was fleeced of £120,000 after a woman pretending to be her walked into a Santander branch in Croydon and nabbed the cash.
In the summer, RBS chief, Ross McEwan provoked outrage when he said victims shouldn't get automatically refunded by their banks if they are scammed out of their money.
Former head of the Met Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, was slammed for blaming victims of online fraud.
Hogan-Howe claimed that Brits were being "rewarded for bad behaviour" by not following basic security measures online and then be compensated.
Last month, the Payments System Regulator announced it was looking at ways to make it easier for online transfer victims to get their money back.
Under city rules, a bank can only refuse to refund a victim if they can prove the customer acted negligently failed to protect their card and pin details.
A spokeswoman for the bank told The Sun Online it had paid Mr Bell £356 in compensation due to the time it took to investigate his complaint and that he was wrongly told his claim would be repaid in full.
"Lloyds Bank takes its commitment to fraud prevention seriously. Following Mr Bell's complaint we investigated his case thoroughly and the Financial Ombudsman supported our decision," she added.
A spokeswoman for the Financial Ombudsman Service said: "We resolve complaints on an individual basis, taking into account all the available evidence.
"As such, we are independent of both the consumer and the business who the complaint is against.
"However, I can understand that Mr Bell is disappointed with the outcome of his complaint. As Mr Bell rejected our decision, he is free to pursue his complaint through the courts."
Article From:- https://www.thesun.co.uk