Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons scam warning as bank reimburses robbery victim | United Kingdom | News

The seven-year-old grandmother has finally received the sum – and an additional £150 in compensation from the TSB – but she remains wary of supermarkets and wants big business to help their customers.

The pensioner said: “As these big supermarkets, like Sainsbury’s and Morrisons too, are making so much money, they should be doing more to help prevent these things from happening.

“I think maybe they should have guards or certainly uniformed security moving around the supermarket because there needs to be more presence for sure. If there was just more presence, those criminals wouldn’t feel so free to do that.

“Guards or security personnel might just walk around stores to watch for this behavior. They need to be seen so they have a uniform and preferably firearms, but I’m not sure that’s now allowed.

“I think that would probably stop that kind of behavior.

“I’m relieved to have my money back but I’m worried about the others.”

It took around six weeks for the TSB to repay Ms Sledmere, who had resigned herself to never seeing the £1,000 again.

Ms Sledmere, who took aim at the Tesco Superstore in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, said: “I am absolutely delighted they have refunded me. I am not a wealthy woman so this is very important.

“At first, TSB was very flippant about it. I didn’t feel like they valued me as a customer.

“I had reported the theft and it was like they didn’t care or understand that it mattered to me.”

But the TSB had a legal obligation to do so, Express.co.uk found, because it and other banks must comply with Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which helps protect consumers.

Professor Georgios Panos, an accounting and finance academic at the University of Glasgow, told Express.co.uk: “For a credit card, the law covers anything over £100. For a debit card, it’s It’s £50. That’s up to £30,000 for both for consumers to claim money lost in the frauds from the bank.

“The time frame in this case – around six weeks to two months – is generally the time frame in which we expect the banks to return the money. In the majority of cases, the banks can file their report and return the money .to consumers within that time frame.

“It can be a traumatic experience for the consumer. It can take between a month and two months for the money to be transferred back and it can be traumatic.

“It just takes the bank a bit of time to transfer the money, so in this example the time – six weeks to two months – seems reasonable. The bank has to process that.”

Ms Sledmere, who worked in psychology, contacted Thames Valley Police on March 4, but by then £1,000 had been taken from cash machines in Buckinghamshire and cash machines in Leyton, east London, 47 miles from the supermarket.

Thames Valley Police investigated but closed the inquiry ‘pending further information to come to light’. Nothing has been done and the scammers are still at large.

It has since emerged that CCTV, believed to be owned by Tesco, has been scrutinized by officers.

Professor Panos, who lectures in areas such as international financial management, continued: “Obviously it’s not the easiest crime to detect, especially if cards are lost or stolen. credit or debit when the cards were physically taken from the consumer.People have increased powers and sophisticated units for these crimes.

“It may be that when suspects are arrested for other crimes, it turns out that they were also involved in credit card fraud.

“But consumers shouldn’t expect criminals to appear in court before they get their money back in fraud cases. Once the bank follows its processes and establishes that it was a fraud, consumers will get their money back.

“My advice to consumers from my experience is to have patience and have faith in the banks and their commitment to Section 75.

“I would also say get as much evidence as you can in these cases. That’s something we consumers overlook – we don’t take snapshots of transactions and withdrawals on our mobile phones to help our case. Keeping evidence will cost more than these processes.

“You should report immediately when you believe you have been the victim of fraud, even in cases where you are not 100% sure. It may just be a bad feeling. You should immediately cancel the card credit or debit to limit even more damage.”

But Ms Sledmere, from Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, told Express.co.uk she had given up hope of getting her money back.

“I’ve had a lot of support and it’s been amazing,” the mom-of-four continued.

“I had told the authorities and it seemed like that, so it’s a big surprise to have the money in my account.

“It was a mystery. The bank hadn’t reimbursed me for a while. It was not good.”

Ms Sledmere added: “I have been told this activity is widespread, particularly in some supermarket car parks in and around London.

“It affected me a lot. I had trouble sleeping because I think about it all the time. It’s so clear in my mind. I felt sad and worried, and stupid to be honest. C is just very upsetting.

“I was very very upset and I don’t trust people anymore.”

TSB bosses said they acknowledged it had caused Ms Sledmere ‘distress’.

A bank spokesperson said: “We have corrected this for our client; the money is back in her account and we will offer an additional sum to reflect the distress caused. We apologize to Ms Sledmere for not having received the support that our clients normally receive when they are victims of crime.”

Thames Valley Police said an investigation had been opened.

A spokesperson added: “We received a report of theft at around 9.05am on March 4.

“A woman has reported that her bank card was stolen from her car in the Tesco car park in London Road West, Amersham, when she was distracted by a man as she returned her trolley at around 2pm on March 2.

“The card was then fraudulently used to withdraw a quantity of cash on four occasions on March 2 and March 3.

“Following an investigation, the report has been filed pending further information.

“If anyone has any information about this, they should call 101 or report to our website, quoting reference number 43220096277.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of this incident and want to assure people that the safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority. Our stores have CCTV in the car parks to deter thieves and we ask customers to report any unusual behavior to our security guards.”

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have invited the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to comment on supermarket safety on their behalf.

Tom Ironside, Business and Regulatory Director at BRC, said: “The number one priority for retailers is keeping their customers safe.

“They spend huge sums on crime prevention, and our latest crime survey showed they spent £1.2billion in 2019/20. They hire security staff, install CCTV systems and many have deployed body-worn cameras for staff. Shop workers are also often trained in how to de-escalate a situation.”