Tesco Bank refunds £2.5m after mass online fraud

  • Liam Tung (CSO Online)
  • 10 November, 2016 06:04

Tesco Bank in the UK has restored online transactions for over a 100,000 customers after last freezing services due to a mass fraud attack on the weekend.

Tesco Bank says it had refunded £2.5m (AUD$4m) to about 9,000 customers affected by an online fraud spree over the weekend.

The bank on Monday froze online transactions and contactless payments for all 136,000 of its customers with current accounts following a rash of fraudulent online transactions carried out over two days.

Tesco Bank initially reported suspicious activity on 40,000 current accounts of which 20,000 were believed to have lost money to online fraudsters. BBC quoted several customers who had lost amounts less than £1,000.

In a statement late Tuesday, Tesco revised the number of customers who had lost funds to 9,000 customers and confirmed the incident has cost the bank approximately £2.5 million in refunds to affected customers.

The bank also highlighted that customers’ personal data had not been compromised in the incident, suggesting its own systems had not been breached. The UK's Information Commissioner's Office was inquiring into the incident.

“We’ve now refunded all customer accounts affected by fraud and lifted the suspension of online debit transactions so that customers can use their accounts as normal. We’d also like to reassure our customers that none of their personal data has been compromised,” Tesco Bank CEO Benny Higgins said.

Tesco Bank said it was continuing to work with authorities and regulators in their investigation.

The UK National Crime Agency is leading a criminal investigation into the fraud, with the support of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The NCSC said it was not aware of a wider threat to the country’s banking sector connected to the incident.