Transaction error? Here's what to do

Transaction error? Here's what to do
ATM machines at Orchard.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF MONEY IS WRONGLY CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT?

No matter how tempting it is, you should not keep the money as you could be committing a crime, said lawyer Rajan Supramaniam.

"It could be considered as the wrongful retention of money as long as the mistake was made known to you.

The person involved will be liable for prosecution for a criminal offence," said Mr Rajan, who has been a criminal lawyer for 15 years.

If you know the person or company that has wrongly transferred the money, Mr Rajan suggested contacting them to arrange for the funds to be returned.

Another option would be to report the error to your bank so the source of the transfer can be traced.

It is not necessary to contact the police unless you suspect a crime could be involved, such as money laundering.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU HAVE ACCIDENTALLY TRANSFERRED MONEY TO THE WRONG ACCOUNT?

Mr Rajan said he has dealt with such cases where people sought help from their Member of Parliament or the police after making a mistake in a bank transaction.

His advice: Don't panic as most people eventually get their money back.

Inform your bank immediately. If the bank refuses to investigate, get a lawyer to issue a demand notice to compel the bank to take action to recover the money.

Even when the bank is cooperative, the process could take a long time.

This is because the recipient may not be aware that the funds had been wrongly credited to his account as many people do not check their bank statements or keep track of their bank balance, Mr Rajan said.

If the other party refuses to return the money, the police will have to get involved to resolve the issue of wrongful retention.

Mr Rajan said the bank would not be able to issue a refund as it was responsible only for facilitating the transaction.


This article was first published on April 24, 2015.
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