Nearly 20,000 Tesco Bank customers have had money stolen from their accounts as a result of a hack attack over the weekend, the group’s chief executive has said.
Thousands of accounts were reportedly affected after apparent fraudsters targeted the bank’s clients, with customers taking to social media to alert the bank.
Tesco Bank confirmed that 40,000 of its 136,000 current account holders had seen suspicious transactions over the weekend, while money had been fraudulently withdrawn from around 20,000 accounts.
The total is considerably more than the figure the bank was quoting on Sunday of ‘fewer than 10,000’ accounts.
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Money taken from 20,000 accounts
The bank has now suspended online transactions for current account holders. Customers affected by the block will still be able to withdraw cash and use other services.
One account holder tweeted that his available balance had dropped by £700 without him making a transaction, while another said the disruption had left her ‘unable to feed my kids in school tomorrow’.
Others complained about a lack of communication from the bank and hours spent on hold.
Benny Higgins, chief executive of Tesco Bank, confirmed on Monday that about 20,000 customers had money taken from their accounts, and ‘suspicious activity’ had been identified in another 20,000.
Mr Higgins issued an apology to customers and said the bank would refund accounts as soon as possible.
But there will be some disruption – those affected can still use their debit cards but are expected be sent new ones within seven to 10 days.
Investigators watching events
A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office said: ‘We’re aware of this incident and are looking into the details.
‘The law requires organisations to have appropriate measures in place to keep people’s personal data secure. Where there’s a suggestion that hasn’t happened, the ICO can investigate, and enforce if necessary.’
An investigation by the National Crime Agency is under way.
What are my rights?
Tesco Bank has reassured customers that any financial loss as a result of this activity will be resolved fully by the bank, and it’s working to refund accounts that have been subject to fraud as soon as possible.
If the unauthorised payment led to any other charges, such as a missed a payment charge, those losses should also be refunded, but this may mean providing proof to the bank of such losses.
Concerned customers can contact Tesco Bank on 0345 835 3353 or via Twitter @tescobankhelp.
If you use the same or similar login information – like passwords and usernames – for other websites or online accounts, it is best practice to change those details immediately.
There is also a risk that personal data may also have been lost. If your data is lost and it causes you financial damage or distress, you may be able to make a claim for compensation from Tesco Bank.
The bank is bound by the Data Protection Act 1998 to keep your data secure.
If you’re concerned by the risk of fraud you can use our list of seven points to help identify an attempted fraud.
These include things like being contacted out of the blue, an offer being too good to be true or being pressured to respond quickly and with personal details.
Tesco Bank confirmed normal service had resumed following the temporary suspension of online transactions from current accounts on 8 November.
The Bank also confirmed that personal data was not compromised as a result of fraud that took place over the weekend of 5-6 November and that online transactions had been suspended to prevent criminal activity.