Woman Enters Wrong Account Number, Loses $42K

British hairdresser wanted to put money away
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2013 6:07 PM CST
Woman Enters Wrong Account Number, Loses $41K
Stock photo of woman typing on her computer.   (Shutterstock)

One click on a keyboard, and Sally Donaldson was sending her money to the wrong person. The British hairdresser says she planned to transfer her monthly pay of about $1,500 to her husband's account, but mis-typed one digit of his account number. The heartbreaker: They only noticed the error two years later, after losing $42,000. And the bank, Nationwide, refuses to return the money, the Guardian reports.

The bank argues that the lucky recipient has already withdrawn the money from ATMs, so getting it back is impossible. And the transfers are hardly the bank's fault. "Phone calls to Nationwide that night, many tears, and numerous subsequent calls and letters, have left us with just £1,000 returned," says Donaldson—which isn't her real name. How she failed to notice the problem for two years is another story. The Guardian partly blames paperless bank statements, which are easier for customers to ignore than snail-mail versions. (An Arkansas couple recently had a much rosier financial tale to tell.)

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