Organized criminals exploited a flaw in Revolut’s payment systems to steal more than $20 million of the fintech’s money, the Financial Times reportedciting multiple sources with knowledge of the incident who were not identified.
The issue arose due to differences between Revolut’s systems in the US and Europe, which meant that some transactions were declined and then wrongly refunded, the newspaper reported. Criminal gangs began exploiting the issue in early 2022 after it was identified in late 2021. They encouraged people to make large transactions that would be declined and then withdraw the refunded amounts via ATMs.
The issue came to light when a partner bank in the US notified the UK-based company that it had less cash than expected. The US subsidiary then requested cash injections from its parent and the flaw was closed in spring 2022, the FT reported.
About $23 million in total was stolen, with some funds recovered by going after those who had withdrawn cash, resulting in a net loss of about $20 million, the newspaper added.
Revolut declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.