A few case studies included in the latest annual report by the Ombudsman for Banking Services may offer a glimmer of hope to consumers who are increasingly finding themselves victims of online banking fraud. These grievances constitute the biggest category of complaints to the ombud, who found in favour of the banks in 80% of such cases in 2018. However, in two case studies relating to internet banking fraud, the ombud found against either the consumer’s bank or the “beneficiary bank” — the bank to which the fraudster transferred the victims’ money. The ombud found that even though the consumers had probably compromised their accounts by unwittingly sharing their online banking credentials, their loss was not because of this compromise but due to a failure on the part of the banks to act appropriately or timeously. Had the banks done what they ought to have, the consumers’ money could have been recovered. In the first case study, the ombud’s office says “it appeared from the documen...

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