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Man shocked after discovering his bank card was linked to someone else's account

By Mirror | June 10th 2019

A mystery sum of money lands in your bank account “in error”. What do you do?

I have heard many stories in the past from readers who have found themselves in this sticky situation and they all ask me the obvious question: “Can I keep it?”

Tony asked me the same question this week but his story has an unusual difference.

In February Tony received his new debit card and started using it straight away.

He then got what he describes as “the biggest shock of my life” at the end of March when he was arrested for fraud.

The allegation was put to Tony that he had cloned someone’s debit card and had spent Sh94,684 on it.

Tony had not done this and had no idea why he was being accused. All then became clear.

What had happened was there was a problem with the new debit card he had received from the bank and rather than debiting his bank account, it was debiting someone else’s.

It all got resolved very quickly and he thought it was the end of the matter.

However, he has now received a letter from the bank demanding that he pays back the money.

The legal position

The general position is that if you receive money in error you must pay it back. However, there can be an exception.

This is where you genuinely did not know that you had received and spent money that was not yours and now cannot pay it back

Of course, the recipient of funds must show evidence.

Tony's defence

This is sometimes difficult because most people would notice (or they should notice) if a sum of money all of a sudden appears in their account that they were not expecting. However, Tony’s position is somewhat different as no sum of money appeared in his account.

It was simply a case of his bank not debiting his account when he used his card.

This would have been harder to spot and, in my view, gives him a fairly good defence.

Putting that aside, the fact that he got arrested due to this mistake by the bank surely should warrant them writing this money off.

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