A man who sent $60,000 over two months to a fake girlfriend in Asia has been refunded money from his bank, despite it warning him about the fraud and trying to block his transfers.

His son complained to the Banking Ombudsman about the way the bank handled the scam.

The man, whom the ombudsman scheme described as “older”, sent the money through international transfers via Central America.

He first came to the attention of his bank when he sent $20,000.

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The bank rang to ask if it was payment to a company or individual – the man said he believed it to be an individual.

The bank staff member said the recipient’s surname would be needed and asked for more details. The customer said the money was for his girlfriend’s business in Asia. The bank staff member raised the possibility of a fraud but the customer said he wanted to continue and would ring back with the name.

He rang back the international team and was referred to the fraud team. A staff member again raised the possibility of fraud, but he wished to make the payment anyway, and so the bank made the transfer.

Several days later, the customer set up another international money transfer, this time for $26,000. The bank stopped it and also blocked his ability to make overseas transfers. He then made an…

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