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Woman Wakes Up To Find £775,000 In Her Bank Account

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Woman Wakes Up To Find £775,000 In Her Bank Account

Just imagine waking up to find three quarters of a million pounds just sat there in your bank account. What would you do?

Well, in August 2020, a woman, who prefers not to be named, checked out her bank statement and found a slighty overdrawn amount of a £774,839.39 Bacs payment into her account.

Reported by The Guardian, the self-employed mum of a five-year-old didn't know what to do.

She said that the experience was 'amazing, incredible, bizarre' yet at the same time, 'a nightmare'.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The money had been deposited in her bank account by HMRC and the woman was worried by the legal repercussions - Section 24A of the Theft Act 1968 makes it an offence to knowingly keep a wrongful credit.

Although the mother spent £20,000 of the amount, 15 months later, she opted to get in touch with the publication to try and sort out the issue and it turns out the HMRC had made a right blunder.

HMRC discovered that a member of its staff had made the mistake while trying to pay the woman a £23.39 parcel customs duty rebate.

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The money had not been destined for another person or company, and may well have never been detected had she not come forward.

Hindsight, eh.

“It was like something out of a Hollywood film, and after I had got over the shock I just assumed that someone would realise that they had made a huge mistake, and that they would swiftly take the money back," she said.

"But no one did, and the money just sat in my account."

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

She added: “I assumed that HMRC staff would notice their mistake when I paid my tax in November 2020, but nothing happened.

“I even tried to ring HMRC but getting hold of anyone at the time was impossible. I’d wait 30 minutes on the phone and then would have to give up as my child would need to be fed, or something.

“On other calls I would be cut off before I could talk to someone. I moved £100,000 into my savings account but it has earned virtually no interest. I have never been wealthy and don’t have a car or even a dog.

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"My income had been decimated and all the time I was very gently eating into the money. But because I could no longer pay the whole sum back I was stuck in a catch-22 position. I had a whole load of money I knew I couldn’t spend, but I was unable to do anything about it in case HMRC wanted it all back at once.”

A HMRC spokesperson has said that the organisation “genuinely wants to be supportive” in her case.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the individual. We are working to recover the payment that was made," they said.

"For the amount that the individual spent, we will work with them to come to a payment arrangement that takes into account their financial circumstances."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Money

Anish Vij
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