Banking on hearing the same response twice

Account ordeal: Krystyna Russ and her friend Witold Wojcik.
Account ordeal: Krystyna Russ and her friend Witold Wojcik.
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SHE banks in Sheffield, only speaks Polish and Chinese fraudsters were using her details to shop in Hong Kong – sounds like a job for International Desk.

Krystyna Russ may have had difficulty explaining £250 of payments to Lloyds bank, but her statement speaks for itself – it is littered with Chinese characters.

It shows 15 items were bought from Hong Kong company Power Logistics before her account went overdrawn.

Krystyna, of Fairleigh Street, Manor Top, Sheffield, was alerted when direct debits to legitimate organisations – such as Sheffield Homes – stopped. Lloyds swiftly applied bank charges.

But to the bank’s credit, once Krystyna had explained – with the help of pal Witold 
Wojcik – it immediately 
accepted the transactions were dodgy and arranged a refund.

But there was another twist because Lloyds sent a fraud form for her to sign, but Krystyna was away visiting family and didn’t return it in time. So the bank re-debited all the money.

Krystyna and Witold wearily returned to the branch in Sheffield and explained the situation again – but this time they got a very different response.

Witold said: “They said they would not refund Krystyna because she gave her details to the merchant. The lady said that maybe we can write a letter to the bank asking for it.”


A LLOYDS spokesman said a full refund had now been made – plus a further £250 to say sorry.

He said: “We are very sorry to learn of the difficulties Ms Russ had in relation to her claim and apologise for the distress and inconvenience this has caused.

“We initially arranged a refund after Ms Russ kindly supplied us with the transaction receipts. However, when we wrote to Ms Russ shortly afterwards with a fraud declaration, we did not receive a response and therefore re-debited the transactions. “This is standard practice where we do not receive a signed fraud declaration within the allotted time.

“We acknowledge that when Ms Russ followed this up with us she received incorrect information, and for this we apologise. We know how distressing fraud is for our customers and are sorry that she did not receive the high level of service we aim to provide on this occasion.”