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PXW

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Friend of mine got his driveway done...poor quality bodge job, form a guy who is 'no longer working in the area'. However, he does have an address/phone number, and after much hassle the guy has agreed to refund - half now, half later.

I'm sceptical that my friend will ever see the money - it was a cash-in-hand job - but he's doing better than I thought he would simply by maintaining a conversation about it. But - and here's the question - the guy has asked for my friend's sort code and account number so he can transfer the money directly.

My advice was not to give those details - ask for a cheque, or bankers draft, or preferably cash - especially as the guy has proved himself to be untrustworthy.

However - it got me thinking - what exactly can a fraudster do with account/sort code details? I know Clarkson famously gave his out and suffered a £400 loss to charity - but does anyone in the collective know how the fraud would be perpetrated - where exactly is the risk? Or is it more a case of once you have name, bank account details and address its a marketable ID fraud? But if that's the case - cheques, bank cards etc all have account and sort codes on them - they are not exactly secret.

Any views/wisdom?
 

brucemillar

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Sort code and account number on their own would normally be considered safe. However in this case the chap would have these plus a name and address, possibly your friends family names ( he was at their house) pet names and anything else he saw when having a cuppa and chat.

Get cash.
 

jotter22

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I dont think anything will come of it anyway!so i would suggest your friend contact a reputable firm who probably would not do a "cash in hand job" anyway and take this one on the chin....you pay your money you take your chances!

Tony.
 

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Do not give any details what so ever! These small details can end up with people getting loans on your name etc! Get cash of the person!

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difficult - if you write a cheque for any one you give them your bank account number, your sort code & your signature.

I don't know if it is any different to handing out your account details for somone to make a payment to your account.

Most of my trading (buying & selling) is done on this basis as it's the easiest/quickest/cheapest method of making payments
 

Bobby Dazzler

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As Piff says you willingly give this information every time you issue a cheque...

...but if I was your friend then I still wouldn't provide a sort code and account number, with perhaps one exception - if he paid by bank transfer.

If paid in cash then refund in cash.
 

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Can't see what they can do with sort code and account number. Often give these details when selling stuff.
 
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PXW

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Thanks all - the replies pretty much reflect the dilemma - obviously cash is best (and this is what I advised), but many of us are less than careful with account/sort codes. I know professional treasury operations tend to have receiving accounts that are swept daily, so very little risk for them - but most of us don't have that arrangement privately. Perhaps we should?

The riskis clearly increased where other details are also available - name, possibly account name, address etc. perhaps this is why ID fraud is also on the increase!
 

markjay

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Further to Piff and BD's posts... In addition to cheques, almost every commercial invoice, fees note, and even HMRC statements contain bank account details...
 
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PXW

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Further to Piff and BD's posts... In addition to cheques, almost every commercial invoice, fees note, and even HMRC statements contain bank account details...
Yes, but most of those accounts are swept - emptied - at least daily; they are just collection accounts, not normally the accounts large organisations would use for payments. At least, that's the way I've set these up in the past. So these large organisations don't really have the same worry.
 

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As Clarkson found out, the main risk is from people looking to set up a direct debit on your behalf, so to speak. I know my bank has stepped up security in recent years, and now sends me an SMS whenever a new direct debit or other recurring payment is set up against my current account, but I don't know whether all banks do this.
 

markjay

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Yes, but most of those accounts are swept - emptied - at least daily; they are just collection accounts, not normally the accounts large organisations would use for payments. At least, that's the way I've set these up in the past. So these large organisations don't really have the same worry.
Would be interesting to raid HMRC's bank account at the end of day... just before they empty it... hmmm... :D
 

Satch

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Set up another internet bank account with very low floating balance, no overdraft facility, instructions to decline all request for payment if account would go negative and sweep out all inward payments to your real account ASAP.

Had one for years, ever since somebody lifted money out of my current account. Got it back but only after being very, very nasty to the lazy witless cretins in their "Fraud Prevention Unit".
 
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PXW

PXW

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Satch said:
Set up another internet bank account with very low floating balance, no overdraft facility, instructions to decline all request for payment if account would go negative and sweep out all inward payments to your real account ASAP.

Had one for years, ever since somebody lifted money out of my current account. Got it back but only after being very, very nasty to the lazy witless cretins in their "Fraud Prevention Unit".
Yes - had thought of this. Would also be a solution to the thieving swines at Paypal and their chargebacks?
 
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PXW

PXW

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markjay said:
Would be interesting to raid HMRC's bank account at the end of day... just before they empty it... hmmm... :D
There's quite a prize to be had there; I believe the winner gets a number of years of free board and lodging....
 

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