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

cybercrime claims

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.


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