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cybercrime claims
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UK banking customers at risk as scammers steal half-a-billion pounds

According to the latest figures, over £500m was stolen from British banking customers in the first half of 2018.

What’s more, a whopping £145m of that was due to authorised push payment (APP) scams. A push payment scam happens when a cybercriminal tricks someone into sending them money online.

Purchase scams, where people are tricked into paying for products or services that do not exist, were the most common form of APP fraud reported in the first half of 2018.

There were also 3,866 cases of impersonation scams reported. This is where cybercriminals pretended to be from a trusted body (e.g. a bank or the police) to trick account holders into transferring money.

During the same period in 2017, push payment scams saw £101m stolen from UK banking customers. This year’s £44m increase is thought to be partly down to more banks reporting data.

Another £358m has been lost to unauthorised fraud. This includes transactions made without account holders’ knowledge.

How to protect yourself from push-payment fraud

UK Finance, the body behind the latest report offers the following advice:

  • Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  • Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
  • Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  • Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  • Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.

However, according to a spokesperson from consumer group Which? the banks’ efforts to tackle fraud has been “woefully insufficient”. He said: “They have not done enough to protect their customers, who continue to lose life-changing sums of money to ever-more sophisticated crooks”.

Can victims of bank fraud get their money back?

While unauthorised fraud victims are usually refunded by their banks, until now, most victims of push-payment scams do not get their money back.

However, the industry has recently introduced new safeguards to help victims of push payment scams to secure compensation as well as a new industry code designed to minimise the number of scams by encouraging consumers to remain vigilant.

This means that victims of push payment fraud can be confident that any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer and quicker consideration.

In fact, your bank can only refuse to reimburse stolen funds where you have shown a very significant degree of carelessness.

Crucially, banks should not automatically blame the victims of increasingly sophisticated scams and must take a fairer approach to compensation. Where a bank still refuses compensation, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Get legal help making a cybercrime claim

If you want to claim compensation following a push payment (or any other form of cyber-scam or bank fraud), Hayes Connor can help.

Our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid claim.

If you have a straightforward case, our quick claims form will help you to start this quickly and easily. This means you receive your compensation in the shortest possible time. However, if we believe you have a large, complex case, we’ll go through your options and may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making a cybercrime claim, it’s essential to act now.

START YOUR CYBERCRIME CLAIM TODAY

What can you do if your bank refuses to reimburse you following a Push Payment Scam?
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What can you do if your bank refuses to reimburse you following a Push Payment Scam?

A push payment scam happens when a cybercriminal tricks someone into sending them money online. And it’s more common than you might think. In fact, in 2017, UK bank customers lost more than £236m due to push-payment scams.

In most cases, the push payment scam is successful because the victim believes the fraudster to be genuine. For example, scammers often call people up claiming to be the police or the bank. They might state that someone is at risk of a security threat, and that they are calling to help stop it. In other cases, an email with an address that looks genuine could request payment (e.g. from a solicitor or tradesperson).

The money lost due to push payment scams can be devastating. For example, a mother and daughter In Kent were tricked out of their life savings after unknowingly transferring £113,665 to a criminal, rather than their solicitor.

Another woman was conned into losing her mother’s care-home fees after a criminal claiming to be from her bank’s fraud team flagged up unusual transactions on her bank account. The fraudsters ran through some security questions and extracted the information they needed to access her account and rename her current account “frozen”. When the woman went to check online, it did appear that her account had been locked. She was then asked to move her balance to a new “protected” account. However, when she called her bank to check the transfer had gone through, they knew nothing about it.

Historically, banks and other organisations have avoided paying push payment scam compensation to victims. And, because payments have been authorised by the customer, there has been little chance of redress.

So, can you get compensation for a push payment scam?

If you have been the victim of a push payment scam and need help getting your money back, there is some good news.

The industry has recently introduced stronger protections to help victims of push payment scams to secure compensation. It has also set out a new industry code designed to minimise the number of scams by encouraging consumers to remain vigilant.

What this means is that you can be confident that any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer and quicker consideration. And that your bank (or another financial provider) can only refuse to reimburse stolen funds where you have shown a very significant degree of carelessness. Crucially, banks should not automatically blame the victims of increasingly sophisticated scams and must take a fairer approach to compensation.

Where a bank still refuses compensation, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you want to claim compensation following a push payment scam, Hayes Connor can help. Our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid claim.

If you have a straightforward push payment scam case, our quick claims form will help you to start this quickly and easily. This means you receive your compensation in the shortest possible time. However, if we believe you have a large, complex case, we’ll go through your options and may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making push payment fraud compensation claims, it’s essential to act now.

START YOUR CLAIM TODAY

data breach compensation
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Data security incidents are on the rise

There has been a 9% increase in reported data security incidents over the last quarter. What’s more, there has been a 41% rise year-on-year. That’s according to the Information Commissioner’s Office[1]  (ICO) – an independent authority, set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, and to promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

However, this isn’t necessarily bad news. In fact, the ICO suggests that the surge could be down to more people reporting security breaches due to growing awareness of the GDPR, and the launch of its new Personal Data Breach helpline. Regardless, information shared in error is the single highest contributor to data breaches year-on-year, and when this data contains sensitive information, the potential damage and distress are huge.

Delving into key sectors, it seems that general business, education and local government are once again the areas with the most reported data security incidents.

Central government

Government bodies must do more to improve cybersecurity. This is particularly important as cybercrime is now acknowledged by the UK government as the foremost threat to national security. Despite this, reported incidents in central government increased by a whopping 178%. And, the ICO highlights a particular issue with failing to redact data in this sector.

Education

Schools handle a lot of sensitive personal data, and it’s vital that this is kept safe. Especially where children are involved. However, all too often, educational organisations either aren’t are aware of their obligations, or haven’t done enough to ensure that they meet them.

In fact, reported incidents in the education sector have risen by 68%, with breaches involving data sent by email to an incorrect recipient increasing substantially.

Healthcare

Healthcare is rapidly going digital. So, it is vital that there are adequate and robust protections in place to secure the data and information held within it. And that healthcare staff have the knowledge and ability to handle such data securely. According to the ICO, the UK health sector continues to have the highest number of reports. Primarily because breach reporting is mandatory in this sector.

Over the last quarter, there has been a 22% increase in reported health incidents with the most common causes being:

  • Data posted or faxed to the incorrect person
  • Data sent by email to the incorrect recipient
  • Loss or theft of paperwork.

The report also reveals that cybersecurity incidents have decreased by 19%. However, this continues to be a priority for the ICO. Of cyber incidents, unauthorised access and malware are the biggest reported problems.

At Hayes Connor, we can help you make claims against a wide range of organisations already fined by the ICO. Of course, you may not know that your data has been breached until you read about it or see it in the news. But if you are in any doubt, it’s worth finding out whether your data was put at risk, because, if so, you may have a claim for compensation. We can also keep you updated on upcoming and current data breach claim investigations.

Find out more about the latest ICO findings here.

With strict-time limits in place for making most compensation claims, if you want to achieve maximum recompense in the minimum amount of time, it’s essential to act now.

[1] https://infogram.com/1ppl7drqj6wrwdarw7zrrwepdquz6z9rrxq