‘I feel ripped off again’: Pix gang victims struggle to get money back from banks | Economy

‘I feel ripped off again’: Pix gang victims struggle to get money back from banks | Economy
‘I feel ripped off again’: Pix gang victims struggle to get money back from banks | Economy

Between transfers via Pix, loans, withdrawals and credit card purchases, he says he suffered a loss of more than R$ 70 thousand at the end of June.

Silvio says that Banco Itaú and Banco Inter returned the money taken after 50 days. But he says he is still living a saga to try to recover the money taken by criminals from his Santander accounts: more than R$40,000.

Sought by the report, Banco Santander says that this is a case of public safety and that it will not reimburse the customer.

“Santander informs that all disputed transactions were authorized from the customer’s device and with validation of their credentials. The Bank has security procedures that were activated and validated with Mr. Silvio*, who authorized the entries. In an attempt to mitigate the losses, after becoming aware of what had happened, Santander sought to recover amounts from Banco Favorecido, but without success, since the funds were fully used. which authorities should be contacted.”

More than a week after being sought, the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro replied that “the investigation is underway at the 6th DP (Cidade Nova), which has already identified three members of the gang and represented the arrest of the accused with the Public Ministry”.

The victim says that, during the period in which he was kidnapped, he had to call the bank to request loans and that he gave the attendant tips that those transactions were atypical, sequential and at an unusual time than usual.

The bandits made an initial transaction of BRL 1,000 and then a BRL 25,000 transaction to clear the account. Then they tried to make a transaction worth R$18,000, which was blocked, when he had to call.

“They told me to call, but I gave signals. I let ambient sound leak, saying that it was late at night and I had zeroed my account and my overdraft and that to release more money, I should go to an agency. The attendant said that I could release more money at 8 am and put me at risk again, because the bandits made me sleep in captivity”, he reports.

Silvio said that he even requested the audios in which he talked to the bank attendant to prove that he showed signs that he did not want to make the transaction, but his request was denied.

Lawyer Tatiana Viola de Queiroz, a specialist in banking and consumer law, says that the bank has an obligation to provide the audio.

“If he doesn’t provide it, what the client is claiming is considered true. The consumer has no way of having access to this recording, so the bank has to provide it by law”, he says.

As soon as the commercial representative Williams** arrived at the building materials store where he would have a meeting in Greater São Paulo, he was approached by a group of criminals and taken to the back of the property on July 6th.

There, he was surprised to find that there were about ten other people in jail for at least an hour.

“They tied me with plastic tape with the other hostages. There were four men, three of them armed (two with pistols and one with a revolver). Three with surgical masks and one without”, he says in an interview with BBC News Brasil.

He says that there was a safe inside the store and that the thieves were butt-butting the owners to open it.

“One guy was bleeding. Meanwhile, they took my phone and went straight to the banking apps. They asked for the passwords and I couldn’t do anything other than pass. All the victims were surrendered in the back of the store and whoever passed in front didn’t noticed what was happening. And whoever arrived was also surrendered. There were three more after me”, he says.

The victim says that the thieves started making transactions on his cell phone. As the device didn’t work in the back of the store, they went to the door and came back to ask for directions.

“This work prevented them from taking out loans. But they took my wallet and passed the cards through a machine. Nubank’s security system noticed the fraud and blocked a purchase of R$10,999 on the credit card and also returned a Pix of R$1,321 I had no trouble with them. They even stole my ring, watch, two cell phones, notebook and backpack”, says Williams.

He says that the robbers made a transfer via Pix in the amount of BRL 20,000 and another for BRL 15,000. The thieves, according to Williams, still made three credit card purchases. One for BRL 20,000 and the other for BRL 15,999. A total of BRL 70,999.

Sought after, Itaú informed in a note that it has taken all possible measures to try to prevent the transactions and that it will not return the money to Williams.

With the account negative at R$35,000, Williams claims to have withdrawn R$35,000 that he had invested in CDI to cover the deficit in the overdraft and prevent the debt from getting even bigger due to interest. However, he was unable to pay for purchases made on his credit card and his name was also denied.

“Itaú Unibanco regrets what happened and clarifies that, as soon as it became aware of the fact, it called the destination institution to attempt to block the amounts, but, unfortunately, the funds had already been withdrawn. The bank reinforces that this is a case of public security and that, in situations of scams and fraud, customers must contact the bank to temporarily block passwords, products or services and file a report, so that the competent authorities can take the necessary measures.”

“I didn’t need to take this money as a credit limit. Why would I take this limit value if I have the money? The bank was stolen because it didn’t have the ability to protect the assets. What I lost were my cell phones , notebook, backpack and wedding ring. I pay a monthly fee for the bank to take care of my money, so I don’t leave it at my house, but he releases it to the thief and now he’s charging me”, says Williams.

With his name on the list of creditors of the SPC (Credit Protection Service), the commercial representative says that he has been psychologically shaken since the day of the kidnapping and that if the situation is not resolved, he will file a lawsuit for material and moral damages. He is afraid to leave the house to work and be robbed again.

“I feel helpless. There’s nothing I can do. I feel robbed by the bank because they’re charging me for something that I didn’t enjoy. I had a stable financial life. I went to the Itaú ombudsman’s office and they said they didn’t find any evidence of fraud. I showed off-profile transactions, BO, I questioned via the Central Bank, which reiterated that there is no evidence of fraud. I have already hired a lawyer and I will file a lawsuit”, he says.

The São Paulo Public Security Secretariat reported that “procedures are still in progress to identify and locate the perpetrators” and that “details will be preserved to guarantee the autonomy of police work”.

Williams also claims that he never made transactions of this volume and that the banks failed to block them.

“I’ve never used my account limit. I’ve never made a transaction of BRL 35,000. Imagine how many people are losing little money and don’t even go after it. I’m fighting because the amount is high. If it was BRL 4,000, I’d already would have given up. That’s why it’s easy for the thief”, he says.

Lawyer Tatiana Viola de Queiroz says that banks must reimburse victims’ money in cases of fraud.

“The bank has an obligation to know the customer’s transaction profile. Any atypical transaction, it needs to contact the customer to approve. And if it doesn’t, it stops immediately. Banks also forget that this is a business risk. Just as they profit from the service provided, they must bear the burden. It is the bank’s obligation to provide a safe service”, he says.

The lawyer, who worked for eight years as a lawyer for Proteste (Brazilian Association of Consumer Protection), says that clients who suffer this type of blow and feel aggrieved should seek the competent bodies as soon as possible to reimburse the money.

First, you must file a complaint with the company’s Customer Service and the ombudsman’s office. If the case is not resolved, he can trigger Bacen and Procon. If not, he must go to court.

If it is an amount up to 40 minimum wages, the action can be made in the special civil court. Above this value, only in ordinary courts.

“The bank also has the obligation to check the financial health of the consumer. Know if he will pay that payment because he is lending money that is not his and needs to be responsible for the equity of the investor or account holder”, he says.

The lawyer reports that even in emergency situations, such as paying for a high-cost surgery in a hospital, the bank needs to verify that there is no fraud.

*The victim’s name was omitted, at her request, for security reasons. **The report chose to keep only the victim’s first name in the text.

The article is in Portuguese

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