April 28, 2022
Whānau angry at bank fraud botch
The daughter of a woman whose bank account was looted while she was in a Gisborne rest home wants changes to the way banks and the Banking Ombudsman deal with fraud.
When Pat Fairlie died in October 2020 aged 91, the whānau discovered more than $60,000 had been taken, including almost $10,000 in the days after her death, probably through a stolen EFTPOS card.
Brenda Tahi says her mother had been an astute businesswoman but like many people, as they get older she had stopped checking her bank statements.
She says it was a nightmare dealing with the ANZ, which claimed her mother had written her PIN on the card so it wasn’t liable, and the Banking Ombudsman who only ordered the return of the money stolen in the five days after her death.
“We’re looking for changes in the way banks do things, not just in terms of monitoring for fraudulent transactions but also in the way they might investigate fraud if it happens because we went through a dreadful process which we believe didn’t need to happen in the way the in which it did,” she says.
Ms Tahi says the whānau has sent recommendations to rest homes to encourage them to protect the interests of their vulnerable residents.