VIC Fraud Using My Mum's Bank Account to Pay for Insurance?

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Dimitra Frost

Member
11 September 2014
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0
1
A person has been using my mum's bank account number (set up as a direct debit) to pay for his insurance for the last 29 months. The company has been contacted and is investigating and agreed to refund the money to my mother. They have not provided me with any of the actual details as yet. Can l get other costs from them as well as the bank interest she missed out on because of the fraud under criminal law? We only discovered this a few weeks ago when closing my mum's account as she has passed away. Thanks
 

AnnaLJ

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
94
19
354
Hi Dimitra

Whether you can get costs from the insurance company or not depends on a number of things.

Firstly, do you have a contract or set of terms and conditions with them (This would only be the case if you were also a customer of theirs)?

If you do, then there may be details in the contract/terms and conditions detailing how far the company's liability goes in circumstances of fraud.

If not, then your only real avenue to pursue costs would be to make a civil claim against the insurer for damages. You could try this, in the first instance, by simply putting in writing what you request as full reimbursement for damages suffered. Then, if you do not get the outcome you like, you could lodge a claim in the small claims tribunal in your state.

For you to be able to get a damages award in a tribunal/court, you would need to be able to show that the insurer was negligent in their collection/use of the bank details and that there was causation between this negligence and the damages you suffered. This could be a tricky thing to prove, unless you can show there is a flaw in their process for collection and cross-checking account details etc or that there was another reason for which they should have been aware that the account details were being provided fraudulently.

So, in short, I'd recommend at least asking for the extra reimbursement for damages but keep in mind that there's not necessarily a definitive right for you to have them paid.

Best of luck and keep us posted with how it turns out!

Anna
 
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Dimitra Frost

Member
11 September 2014
3
0
1
Hi Dimitra

Whether you can get costs from the insurance company or not depends on a number of things.

Firstly, do you have a contract or set of terms and conditions with them (This would only be the case if you were also a customer of theirs)?

If you do, then there may be details in the contract/terms and conditions detailing how far the company's liability goes in circumstances of fraud.

If not, then your only real avenue to pursue costs would be to make a civil claim against the insurer for damages. You could try this, in the first instance, by simply putting in writing what you request as full reimbursement for damages suffered. Then, if you do not get the outcome you like, you could lodge a claim in the small claims tribunal in your state.

For you to be able to get a damages award in a tribunal/court, you would need to be able to show that the insurer was negligent in their collection/use of the bank details and that there was causation between this negligence and the damages you suffered. This could be a tricky thing to prove, unless you can show there is a flaw in their process for collection and cross-checking account details etc or that there was another reason for which they should have been aware that the account details were being provided fraudulently.

So, in short, I'd recommend at least asking for the extra reimbursement for damages but keep in mind that there's not necessarily a definitive right for you to have them paid.

Best of luck and keep us posted with how it turns out!

Anna

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your reply. I just called the company and they have issued a cheque to my mums estate as she has passed away and a letter detailing what actually happened. I have not received either as yet. My mum was not a customer of this company. As mentioned we only came across this as we were closing her account. I have not had any person from the company call me to offer an apology or to discuss the matter. I am surprised and disappointed considering the severity of the matter. The only conversations l have had are calls that l have made to ask questions that no one could actually answer. I feel that the company should be liable for not having more effective measures in place to be able to check customers banking details etc. Dealing with my mothers passing has been extremely hard on my father and l and having discovered this has been quite stressful. The company needs to be accountable for the poor systems they have in place and also for the stress they have caused. Not sure what l would actually request as damages etc? How do you put a price on this?? They can not get off scot free.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
7,082
953
2,894
Hi Dimitra,

Things may not always be as they seem. Maybe your mother authorised the deductions while she was alive and didn't tell anyone.

It is not uncommon for someone to make payments on behalf of someone else (I do it from time to time) so the insurance company is not necessarily acting unreasonably in taking the payments. The fact they are refunding the money is laudable.

I'd be pressing for details on who was receiving the benefit. It is possible a criminal act has been committed by the person that received the benefit.
 

Dimitra Frost

Member
11 September 2014
3
0
1
Hi Dimitra,

Things may not always be as they seem. Maybe your mother authorised the deductions while she was alive and didn't tell anyone.

It is not uncommon for someone to make payments on behalf of someone else (I do it from time to time) so the insurance company is not necessarily acting unreasonably in taking the payments. The fact they are refunding the money is laudable.

I'd be pressing for details on who was receiving the benefit. It is possible a criminal act has been committed by the person that received the benefit.

Thanks Rod, I agree with what you are saying regarding other people making payments for others etc and that the person who submitted the account details is at fault. The company has agreed to refund the money which l knew they would considering the circumstances however the company has not contacted me once to discuss details or explain their investigation process or to simply apologise. Quite poor l say. I will wait to receive their letter which is on its way and take it from there!! Not sure where there will be though!!