Accused of fraud by the Halifax?

Quite staggeringly, a couple of months ago, we had an email from a man accusing us of fraudulently receiving funds of £10/month… when asked why he said the Halifax had told him so.

He had a payment going from his account that he didn’t know about… and called Halifax card services to report it and find out who it was. The person in fraud services told him the company he’d mentioned was and Martin Lewis and he contacted us to find out.

The ridiculous reason why…

Obviously this was worrying reputationally, but also confusing as doesn’t have any way to take money from the public. So we got onto it and called Halifax to ask what on earth was going on… and this is what seems to have happened:

  • The man had called Halifax and went through to fraud services
  • The fraud services operator Googled the company he mentioned
  • Coming up top was a discussion about the company in the Forum
  • The fraud services operator then assumed this meant the company was owned by & searched our details
  • The fraud services operator then told him to contact us about his money.
  • This is, quite frankly, flabbergasting. Not just in that a major bank could do this, but that someone from fraud services of all places! What faith does it give you of fraud-detecting ability when an error like this is made, and an accusation of this gravity thrown without consideration?…

    The apology

    Obviously we contacted Halifax and had it investigated, and finally today I received the apology…

    Here is the official statement:

    “Dear Mr. Lewis

    I refer to the recent claim against fraudlent activity occurring on above named customers account…. and to him possibly implicating your company’s involvement in receiving stolen funds.

    It would appear that payment was made to COMPANY NAME and when an On-Line search has been performed a link to your company has merely appeared in the search resulted. This has been misinterpreted and our customer advised that your company may have been affiliated to COMPANY NAME although there has never been any allegation that either Company is guilty of any wrongdoing.

    I have today written to the customer to clear up this error and would like to say how sorry I am that Martin Lewis & was mentioned as being involved, clearly this is not the case and your Company is not under suspicion for any wrong doing in this matter.”

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