The Payment Made to an IBAN Modified by a Hacker Releases the Insurance Company

In December 2023, in a proceeding pending before the Justice of Peace of Milan, the claimant requested an insurance company the payment of an amount which the insurance company had already made to an IBAN faked by a hacker.

Specifically, following an incident, an insurance company acknowledged a settlement amount of €6,000.00. When the beneficiary emailed the IBAN for payment to his lawyer, the email was intercepted by a hacker who modified the IBAN.

After the insurance company had made the transfer to the account indicated by the hacker, the beneficiary sued the insurance company to obtain compensation. During the proceeding, the insurance company argued to have acted in good faith at the time of payment. Hence, the Justice of Peace confirmed the regularity of the transaction, denied the request for a new payment by the insurance company and ordered the claimant to pay the legal expenses. This decision is based on article 1189 of the Civil Code which states the following: «The debtor who makes the payment to someone appearing legitimately entitled to receive it based on clear circumstances is relieved if he proves to have acted in good faith».