Thousands of First Direct customers have bogus 'Nando's' payments taken from their account – here's what to do if you’re affected
Thousands of First Direct customers have had bogus payments taken from their accounts from scammers posing as the Nando's restaurant chain. Some customers claimed that fraudsters had taken unauthorised payments of around £60, although the online bank said the average transaction was £30.
First Direct initially told MSE that only a "small number" of customers had been impacted by the scam but later revised this to "thousands" after MSE said it had received a large number of complaints from people who had money taken.
It is not clear how or when the issue started but First Direct said it is working with Nando's to resolve the problem. The bank would not provide more information about the scam or how hackers got into people's accounts as it said it wants to prevent other fraudsters from doing the same thing.
Customers who have been in touch with First Direct about the bogus payments have been refunded and the bank said it would be "reaching out" to those impacted in the "coming days". However, if you have noticed unauthorised payments being taken from your account you should contact First Direct on 0345 100 100.
First Direct customers are also advised to set up payment alerts, which notifies you as soon as money leaves your account. You can do this by phoning the number above.
Some customers have tweeted to say they've had money taken:
I've been scammed. Can I get my money back?
Your first port of call is to contact First Direct and explain what happened. See our 30 Ways to Prevent Scams guide for more info.
While there's no guarantee that your bank will reimburse you even if you have been scammed, this is your best bet in the first instance. Banks should adopt a case-by-case approach, although First Direct has told us that "no customer" will be "left out of pocket" as a result of the scam.
Where there's a dispute with your bank about reimbursement – perhaps you disagree with its decision or you're unhappy with the way it's handled your complaint – you'll normally be able to escalate your case to the free Financial Ombudsman.
Between July and September last year the Financial Ombudsman upheld 60% of customer-versus-bank scam complaints.
What do First Direct and Nando's say?
A spokesperson for First Direct said: “We are aware of some low-value unauthorised retail transactions appearing on a small number of our customers’ cards.
“We want to reassure impacted customers that they will not be left out of pocket and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We take our customers’ security very seriously and will be reaching out to affected customers in the coming days.”
A Nando's spokesperson said: "We are working closely with the card issuing bank to support affected customers. We have robust security controls in place around customer accounts and payments. As with most online retailers, we apply further controls on a risk-assessed basis.
"Due to the nature of the incident, out of an abundance of caution, we are subjecting all payments to these further controls while the cause of this issue is being addressed."