I think the best approach to retain legitimate customers who get caught by the fraud prevention checks is to use it as an opportunity to showcase excellent customer service - which is not a very common response! Keeping customers informed about progress as far as possible, on a regular basis - in particular if the case is taking weeks rather than days - can make a huge difference to dozens’ image
And thank you for the blog post. I have to say I initially raised an eyebrow about being so explicit at the indicators you use to identify fraudulent accounts - but on reflection I actually think this is a very good thing. So thank you.
On this community specifically, you’ll have more experience than me, but do be prepared for an influx of both hysterical or reasonable sounding posts. Staying on top of them can be a full time job in and of itself. I do worry a little about how this community could easily get flooded, though, given how
small perfectly formed it is.
Finally, thanks for being up front and saying you’ll likely move posts about individuals’ accounts. I’d just make a plea to the regulars that we should just accept this and not get into debates about the policy - or to engage with the complaints when, inevitably, they come.
Great article Robert. Even monzo has got loads of bad reviews. I have been using monzo for about 3 years now as my main account. I have had absolutely no problem at all. Even the odd horse racing bet on the weekend on bet 365. No problem at all. I believe if you don’t do anything wrong then there should be no problem for account closure at all. What are dozens policy of using betting site here and there
Dozens have no block on legal betting sites, and we don’t allow credit card top-ups so they don’t block us either, so you can use these (if that’s your thing, but please take care!).
These sites can have different arrangements for paying winnings (they’re perfectly slick at taking payments though), so I believe that they can cause frustration for some customers from time to time as it can take several days for payments to arrive, but this is not anything to do with our accounts.
It must surely be a risk factor though, in context with everything else going through the account.
I do a spot of matched betting and religiously use a dedicated, separate account, just because it’s incredibly annoying if your general current account gets locked.
I can live with funds being locked for a while, but not direct debits bouncing or no access to savings, investments etc.
There’s a lot of frustration on the Revolut forum on this point. Once your account is locked, you can’t do anything with your investments either. I think bundling services into one app creates additional risk for the customer, when an account is locked.
I assume you can’t access your dozens investments once your account is locked…
Educating customers to understand that, while some things are perfectly legal, they are also highly associated with potentially illegal activity, so you should really consider whether you want to do certain things all in the same place, would be a good move, imo.
No, once an account is suspended for review you will be unable to do anything with it until this is resolved
I do understand your point, but if you look at it from the other side, accounts that are used exclusively for risky behaviours will therefore look less genuine and therefore risk getting blocked.
And you are right, educating customers is important and we have started some posts on this, such as this one on Money Muling since not everyone seems to understand the seriousness of the issue or the implications.
True, but you can mitigate by only putting through as much money as you actually need and by doing all account to account transfers to exactly the same accounts.
I think this is a significant downside. I’m not sure why it’s not possible to manage your investment, even if you can’t withdraw, though I’m sure there are reasons!
The way the legislation works at the moment is that if there’s suspicion of fraud then it has to be reported immediately. Info here.
Unfortunately the way that I read the legislation is that you can’t really distinguish between different accounts - a bit like you can’t really distinguish between two funding sources to one account.
I don’t really know what matched betting is, but if it’s legal but looked down on by financial services you should probably find a provider that’s comfortable with it. If it’s something that’s frequently used to launder money, as rubbish as it might be being one of the legal users, then it’s probably best not to use your main amount to do it. This might just be me, but I’d probably also rethink if it’s actually worth it…
The Sunday papers, online communities and social media often carry stories about ordinary people who are struggling to live normally after their bank account has been blocked. Usually, they feel isolated and kept in the dark because their bank cannot (by law) give any explanation. I think the binary nature of the AML measures is a major contributor to the feelings of injustice - access to money is either blocked entirely or not. In terms of risk management, it would seem acceptable instead to restrict accounts. For example, cards could be restricted to allow only “essential” non-cash MCC’s such as groceries, public transport, petrol stations, pharmacies, etc. whilst the bank conducts an initial inquiry. Only later, if further investigation is warranted, should the account access can be entirely blocked.
Ho hum. Shame about the crypto exchanges, but there it is, I understand the reasoning. It’s a risk based decision based on your analysis. If your fraud indicators were people who only ate in Wagamama at 1am, you’d have to go with it!
I’ve personally used crypto more as an investment, rather than actually paid for anything with it.
It makes it harder I feel for crypto to get more acceptance and carry the right regulation if regular finance starts to try to firewall it off.
Present coronovirus circumstances aside, you don’t see businesses banning use of cash because it could have been acquired from the sale of narcotics. But then if you saw one particular customer over and over you’d get suspicious. So swings and roundabouts.
I’ll just have to find somewhere else to put my money when it’s on its way to crypto.
Is there a clear timeline on implementation, or is it ‘done already’?
Well I just got the magic trigger, and my account is blocked.
I have immediately responded with proof of source, proof of destination and proof of employment.
Time to test efficiency of Customer Service
And I’m back. Thanks team. Good job
I wish I could say the same. Unfortunately I’ve been waiting for over a month since I replied with my documents with no communication from Dozens despite me chasing.
I understand that regulations prevent anything that could be interpreted as “tipping off” but it is disappointing that it’s taking so long.
People need to be careful when using their accounts, things that can result in a review.
- Transferring money for a friend, this could be considered money laundering.
- Transferring money for business again could be considered money laundering.
- Money going into the account then the exact same funds being transferred to a third party account. (Evidence of money laundering)
- No activity for a long time then sudden activity then stops.
- If you transfer to/from a black listed person/company
- If you transfer to/from a black listed country (tax heaven)
- Claiming to be in the UK but your IP address shows you are in another country.
So some tips:
- Never transfer money for a friend
- Never use your personal account for your business (Tempting when a personal account offers lower international transfer charges)
- If you transfer money to an account if it was a mistake make sure you transfer it back to the original bank account. Then transfer the money into the account you attended from the original bank account.
- Make sure the VPN is disconnected when you access your bank account.
- If you are planning to go abroad for over four weeks inform your bank
- Planning to transfer and unexpected amount the inform your bank.
- Always keep evidence of the source of the funds, if you don’t the bank has the right to keep hold of the funds.
- If you receive money from a friend or gifted (even a parent), then keep any emails as evidence
Use common sense, if a bank sees some unusual activity for any reason your account is likely to be locked.
Great advice, but I ignore most of it, and have never had a problem.
I always have a VPN on.
I travel for months abroad. In fact I’ve been abroad 5 months so far this year, using cards from different banks, logging into the accounts and transferring money.
I receive money and transfer the exact same amount out.
I never notify my bank when I’m transferring different amount.
Your advice might apply to some of the new banks, but none of the above should trigger any fraud checks. And for the majority it never does.
Had issues with a supplier 14 years back using the service which required the third-party to signup. However the supplier in question was on holiday in a third-world country their systems recognised as such and restricted the amount that could be transferred. There also comments on varies other forums of users located abroad having their accounts suspended as they are not from the country they claimed to be from.
There are a large number of revolut users locked, when you read the comments some suggested used revolut as a middleware account or transferring money for others. It may be the case they are transferring money from abroad and then transferring the same amount to another none verified account.
I always verify with my credit card provider, as they do routinely block transfers.
It would be nice for banks to publish their processes, but suppose they can’t due to the “Tipping” act.
I think the issue with the likes of revolut and dozens to some extend, they are not banks, they operate on e-money licences, they don’t hold the money, so the risk to them is greater.
But yes it would be nice for banks to issue things they don’t allow. For example I know that some sites and companies specifically disallow login from abroad, National Lottery is probably one of the biggest well known ones.
I think this should be much less of an issue, now dozens has scrapped card topups