I am a PhD student. I have a scholarship, which pays out a stipend each fortnight -- it is not employment. Sometimes the university might transfer me money as reimbursement. Sometimes, separately to that, I am a casual employee on a short term contract with the university, for small work like marking exams etc. This was not during a time when I had a active employment contract. (though I have restarted one since).
A bit over a month ago, my wife commented that some extra money had shown up in our account, paid by the university. I attributed it to the scholarship strip-end being reindexed (which happens periodically), and back-payment of the difference coming through. And we thought nothing further of it.
Today I get an email from the university saying:
It has come to our attention that you have received a payment in error. It was $800 on the 14/10/16 to bank account ending in ****
Would you be able to return the amount to [The University] at your earliest convenience please? [The University's] details are as follows:...
The email looks legitimate. Proper footers etc. I don't recognize the name of the sender, but the university probably has dozens (or hundred) of finance people, and I've never dealt with more than 3 or 4 of them.
What should I do now? Obviously I don't want to keep money that is not mine. But I want to handle it properly, with a proper paper trail.
Is doing a bank transfer to correct their mistake, actually the right way to do it in the first place? Seems like it would not leave a very audit-able paper trail
This fact sheet from the Australian Financial Services Ombudsman seems to suggest the correct protocol may be is for them to take the issue up with my bank, as a mistaken payment.
But I'm not sure.