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Santander paid me £3,000 by MISTAKE and I had to check it wasn’t a scam

A SANTANDER customer who was sent £3,120 by mistake said she had to make sure it wasn’t a scam when she was contacted about the error.

Santander mistakenly sent £130million in repeat payments to customers on Christmas Day – and Eliza Bautista got more than £3,000.

The West Sussex businesswoman said she never considered spending the cash
Eliza was sent a work payment of £3,120 on December 24 and another on Christmas Day

The healthcare contractor had not spotted the error until she got an unexpected notification from her bank on Christmas Day apologising for sending her too much money.

She was one of around 75,000 UK customers who were accidentally sent their wages twice after a massive blunder by the bank.

West Sussex businesswoman Eliza, 46, was wary at first of where the email might’ve come from.

She told The Sun: “Initially, I thought it was a weird email.

“But I double checked my account and realised the message was legitimate.

“I would’ve been very dubious if the email told me to take any action, but it didn’t.”

Eliza received £3,120 from a customer as expected on Christmas Eve, and the same amount landed in her account again on Christmas Day.

Before she realised the mistake, a Santander relationship manager contacted her to let her know something had gone wrong.

An email sent to the 75,000 affected customers stated: “As you are aware there was a technical issue on Christmas eve which has seen a number of duplicated payments made on 25th December from your Account.

“We have resolved the issue, and this will not happen to any future payments your customer makes.”

Santander said it was working with payment providers to “automatically recover the duplicated payments from the recipients”.

Eliza was worried at first that her customer had been billed twice, but relaxed when she realised it was cash taken from Santander’s own reserves.

“I was informed that I wouldn’t need to do anything and that Santander will work to automatically recover the money.

“I haven’t spent any of it and don’t intend to.”

What should I do if I receive a payment in error?

It’s not just business-owners who received payments in error from Santander, a number of individuals also got duplicate amounts in their account.

And while many may have been tempted to spent the unexpected windfall – customers are being urged not to do this.

Legally you are expected all the money back, even if you’ve already spent it.

If you do receive a payment in error, inform your bank immediately.

If you know where the money has come from, take steps to get in contact with the sender and alert them to the mistake.

If you spend any money knowing it’s not yours, you face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and may also have to pay a hefty fine.

A spokesman for Santander said yesterday: “We’re sorry that, due to a technical issue, some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients’ accounts.

“None of our clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result and we will be working hard with many banks across the UK to recover the duplicated transactions over the coming days.”

Meanwhile Nationwide customers have been unable to make payments yet again after the bank’s app went down.

After last week’s outages, Nationwide promised customers it would compensate them for any late payment fees they incurred as a result of the problems.

Customers must complain to Nationwide directly, giving evidence that they were affected by the glitch.

What are your rights when there's a bank glitch?

Banks will typically offer customers compensation if they are affected by outages or payment issues, but they don't always have to.

It will depend on the situation.

There’s no automated system for applying for compensation from banks or building societies if you’ve been left out of pocket.

However, if you’re unhappy with a bank’s service and its response you can take your complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Service.

The ombudsman recently forced NatWest to pay hundreds of pounds to customers after the bank mistakenly closed their accounts, suspecting there was fraud.

In 2019, complaints to the Financial Ombudsman service jumped by 20% from Brits who couldn’t access their cash.

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