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Bank must reimburse client after phishing attack

A BANK has been ordered to compensate a client who lost €3,000 after falling victim to a phishing attack.

A BANK has been ordered to compensate a client who lost €3,000 after falling victim to a phishing attack.

The case dates back to 2010, when a client of VÚB Bank unwittingly gave his internet banking security codes to fraudsters through a computer virus that misdirected him to a website that appeared to be the bank’s internet banking site.

The bank refused to return the money to its client, arguing that his computer was not sufficiently secured, and that the bank’s internet banking site contains a warning about working securely with the service. The Trenčín District Court however ruled that the bank has to return the money, and the higher instance court upheld the ruling in June, the TASR newswire reported on September 22.

The bank was ordered to return the money based on the law on payment services, including interest for belated payment. Since the court ruling is effective and cannot be challenged, VÚB Bank respected it and paid the sum to its client, the bank’s spokesperson Alena Walterová said.

“We, however, don’t agree with the ruling and the argumentation for the decision,” she told TASR.
The bank maintains that the client was negligent with his internet banking authorisation data, and does not believe that he took all necessary precautions to protect his personalised security information.

Banks treat each case individually

Slovak banks deal with clients who fall victim to phishing attacks and other internet scams on a case-by-case basis. They cannot all be handled in the same way, since the bank mainly evaluates whether the client’s actions made him susceptible to a scam or an attack, according to Walterová.

The priority is to prevent such unpleasant situations from occurring, according to Tatra Banka spokesperson Zuzana Povodová, and since some situations may occur in spite of the client doing everything necessary, the bank evaluates each case individually.

The bank analyses the client’s actions to determine whether they led to the attack, she told TASR, adding that they refund clients only if they did not make any mistakes in the process.
Another bank addressed by TASR, ČSOB, has yet to deal with any phishing attacks, said its spokesperson Zuzana Eliášova.

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