Tesco Bank has suspended online payments after it detected ‘suspicious activity’ over the weekend.
The bank said that around 20,000 customers had lost money and a further 20,000 have been identified as having fallen victim to suspected “online criminal activity” said the bank.
Although customers are still being allowed to use their cards for cash withdrawals, bill payments, and can use online banking to check their accounts, they will not be able to make any online transactions.
The bank said in a statement that some accounts, “have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently.”
Customers had started complaining on Saturday evening that money had been withdrawn from their Tesco Bank accounts without permission along with cards being blocked and there being long delays in being able to contact the bank on the phone.
Benny Higgins, CEO, Tesco Bank, said: “Tesco Bank can confirm that, over the weekend, some of its customer current accounts have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently.”
The bank is said to be with working with authorities and regulators in order to address the circumstances of the security breach and the bank said that it would ensure that customers do not lose out financially.
Tesco Bank said: “We apologise for the worry and inconvenience that this has caused for customers, and can only stress that we are taking every step to protect our customers’ accounts. That is why, as a precautionary measure, we have taken the decision today to temporarily stop online transactions from current accounts. This will only affect current account customers.”
This is not the first time that the bank has had to deal with suspicious activities. In 2014 the details of 2,239 Tesco Bank accounts, including usernames, passwords and loyalty card balances, were accessed by hackers and posted online.