Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and St George bank transfer warning
Bank transfer warning issued to millions of Australians: Common online banking mistake that can get you investigated
- Video reveals how banks read all your transactions
- One man was flagged for writing ‘Muslim BDAY’
- Muslim is the surname of the man’s nephew
Many Aussies have written a joke message when sending money to friends and family.
They use bank transfers as an opportunity to prank their loved ones with a rude or racy message, under the assumption that banks wouldn’t read what they write in the description box.
However, a journalist has revealed that everything we write is actually monitored by the bank – with some messages even triggering a security response.
Ali transferred $30 to his sister-in-law to celebrate his nephew’s ninth birthday but received this email from the bank
A journalist for ABC News shared the story of one man named Ali, who ran afoul of St George Bank’s monitoring team for a seemingly innocuous message.
Ali transferred $30 to his sister-in-law to celebrate his nephew’s ninth birthday.
In the description field, he wrote ‘Muslim BDAY’, as his nephew’s surname is Muslim.
However, he was then shocked to receive an email from St.George Bank after its economic and trade sanctions team flagged the bank transfer and demanded he provide more information.
‘Please confirm what Muslim refers to,’ the email read.
‘If [Muslim refers to] an individual please provide Full name, DOB and address.
‘St.George — a division of Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) have a statutory obligation to ensure that the transactions we process comply with various Australian and international laws including those relating to economic and trade sanctions.
‘Please provide the above mentioned information…to avoid this transaction being cancelled or further delayed.’
A journalist for ABC News shared Ali’s story – revealing how banks read everything we send to each other
Everything we write in a bank transfer is actually monitored by the bank – with some messages even triggering a security response
Ali was so stunned by the email that he immediately assumed it was a hoax and reported it.
Both he and his sister-in-law live in Australia, leaving him questioning why the bank transfer had attracted the attention of the economic and trade sanctions team.
However, Westpac Group’s hoax reporting team confirmed the email was genuine, leaving Ali even more upset.
‘Why are they targeting a particular group of religious people? That was a bit upsetting,’ he said.
‘What other red flags could there have been other than the name Muslim itself?
‘Christian, that’s a common name as well. Say if it was like, ‘Christian’s birthday’, would they have stopped it as well?’
Ali complied with the request and provided his nephew’s full name, date of birth and address.
The bank later apologised to him, but defended its actions to ABC.
A St.George spokesperson said the bank ‘provides financial services to businesses and customers in accordance with our legal and regulatory requirements, including Australian sanction laws’.
‘To ensure we meet these obligations, St.George will sometimes request more information from customers about certain transactions,’ they added.
A St.George Bank spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘St.George Bank provides financial services to businesses and customers in accordance with our legal and regulatory requirements, including Australian sanction laws.
‘To ensure we meet these obligations, St.George will sometimes request more information from customers about certain transactions’.