FNB putting you at risk of online fraud: forensic expert

Forensic science expert Dr David Klatzow recently told The Star he is planning a class action lawsuit against FNB for the “systematic failure by the bank to properly represent its customers’ interests in online banking fraud cases”.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Klatzow said FNB is putting its clients at risk by sharing their banking details with third parties.

He said this includes the bank sharing sensitive banking information about its clients with “investment advisers”.

This, said Klatzow, is potentially one of the ways criminals gain access to information needed to steal money from FNB’s online banking clients.

He said there are either employees in FNB who assist criminals or there is negligence from the bank for these crimes to be committed.

“The simple fact that so many people get defrauded is a clear indication that FNB is not doing enough to protect its clients against online banking fraud,” said Klatzow.

FNB not honest

Referring to a case he investigated where money was stolen from Cape Town audiologist Gail Jacklin’s account, Klatzow said the bank was not honest.

He told MyBroadband that FNB claimed Jacklin was the victim of a phishing attack, which makes her responsible.

However, Klatzow said the forensic evidence showed that Jacklin’s details were not stolen in a phishing attack, raising questions as to where the criminals got her details from.

FNB offered Jacklin a partial refund, if she was willing to sign a confidentiality agreement and admit responsibility.

When Klatzow demanded to see proof from FNB about its claims, the bank offered a full refund, but only if she “acceded to a confidentiality agreement and exonerated FNB from culpability”.

He said during one of the conversations Jacklin had with FNB, an agent said the FNB platform was compromised. However, this person has now disappeared from the scene.

“We need to get behind the cover-ups and evasions and the refusals by the banks to play open cards around online banking fraud,” Klatzow told The Star.

Class action lawsuit against FNB

Klatzow said the class action lawsuit is aimed at forcing FNB to provide full refunds, with damages, to clients who have been victims of online banking fraud.

He said FNB currently offers clients a partial refund, with many conditions attached, which is not good enough.

He said while FNB is the first bank which will have to face the music, other banks are set to follow.

FNB responds

FNB said the article in The Star referred to an incident which impacted a client in early January.

“Evidence, including malware, confirms the client’s computer was compromised and the OTP sent to her mobile number was entered,” said FNB.

“The bank agrees with its customers not to disclose details of investigations as the information is sensitive and proprietary. Our relations with our customers remain confidential between the bank and its customers.”

FNB said it is not aware of a class action lawsuit planned against it.

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FNB putting you at risk of online fraud: forensic expert