A woman who lost $23,000 in a romance scam said her bank should have stopped her because she used the reference “UN funds” when she made the payments.

The woman complained to the Banking Ombudsman scheme, which published a case note on her complaint in August. It does not identify complainants nor the banks they complain about.

She made payments to the scammer over a month. When she discovered she had been deceived, after making the last payment, she asked the bank to retrieve the money. It was only able to recall $3000.

She complained to the ombudsman that the bank should have been alerted by the reference “UN funds” on the payments and known that the money was not going to the United Nations.

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The ombudsman’s office said banks should act on red flags that indicated a…

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