ANZ security faulted by woman as thieves steal bank account


A Christchurch woman has been left in shock after thieves broke into her car and then used ATMs to steal thousands of dollars from her savings.

And they did it without his online banking account password or PIN.

Waveney Teale-Russ was out for a drive on Saturday afternoon when her car window was smashed in a parking lot in Lyttelton.

Her phone and wallet were hidden in the trunk and were stolen along with many other items.

The desperation deepened an hour later when she called the bank and found that the thieves had also ransacked her account.

“I thought I would just have to cancel my card and my luck would return, but they informed me that my internet banking access code had been changed 15 minutes before this call and that thousands of dollars from your savings account had been transferred to your main account,” she explained.

“They then started telling me that several thousand dollars had been withdrawn from the ATMs.”

Teale-Russ said she was shocked that the thieves transferred large sums of money, changed her online banking password and debit card PIN, without raising an alarm.

“There didn’t seem to be any red flags in the ANZ department. I didn’t receive an email notification, and if I had received a call or text it wouldn’t have mattered as my phone had been stolen.

“You would think that any sudden withdrawal of $1,000 in cash from an ATM would cause some sort of concern on the part of the bank,” Teale-Russ said.

ANZ said it could not discuss security measures for privacy reasons, but in a statement it confirmed it had a fraud monitoring system in place.

If fraud is suspected, he will make a call to find out whether the account should be blocked or not, while trying to reach the customer.

But Teale-Russ said it was her call that alerted the bank to the problem.

She said there was no sense of urgency from ANZ and while she felt listened to, she no longer felt safe with them.

“They print your customer number, which is essential information for logging into your online banking, on the back of the debit card.”

When ordering a new card, Teale-Russ asked if it would be possible to get a card without a number.

“They said ‘no sorry, that’s how it is’. ANZ must definitely be thinking about introducing something new.”

The thieves used that number and his phone information to gain access to Teale-Russ’ account.

However, ANZ said it encouraged customers to familiarize themselves with security and messaging settings on devices to add an extra layer of protection when using SMS notification services.


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