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Trade body urges consumers to help banks tackle fraud

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As it reveals that the banking industry successfully thwarts £4.5m-worth of unauthorised fraud a day, industry body UK Finance is appealing to consumers to do their bit.

The trade body is urging people to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign.

The campaign reminds consumers that criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police, and that your bank or the police will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.

The appeal comes as UKFI reports that the finance industry stopped £820m of unauthorised fraud between January and July 2019, up 14 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

That represents £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud, or £4.5m a day.

Over that period, criminals successfully stole £820m through unauthorised card, remote banking and cheque fraud. Another £208m was lost to ‘authorised push payment’ (APP) fraud, where a criminal tricks a customer into authorising a payment to an account the criminal controls.

Unauthorised fraud mainly occurs as a result of data breaches at third party companies where consumers’ personal details are stolen, and sophisticated ‘data skimming’ attacks when people shop online.

Customers are legally protected against unauthorised fraud, and 98% of victims receive full refunds. When people are conned into authorising fraudulent payments, there is no legal protection to cover their losses. However, a voluntary code was introduced in May this year, introducing new consumer protections against APP fraud. Firms who have signed up to the code have committed to reimbursing the victims of this type of fraud, provided the customer has met the standards expected of them under the code.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Not only does fraud have a devastating impact on victims, the money stolen goes on to line the pockets of organised criminal gangs involved in drugs, arms and human trafficking. The finance industry is constantly investing in advanced security systems to protect customers from this threat, while helping law enforcement to apprehend and disrupt the criminals responsible.

“A new voluntary code was introduced in May that has significantly improved consumer protections from authorised push payment fraud, with signatory firms committed to reimbursing victims providing they have met certain standards.

“However, criminals are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities outside the financial sector to obtain customers’ data that is then used to commit fraud. We all have a responsibility to work together, including online retailers and social media companies, to beat the fraudsters and keep customers’ data secure.”

Staying safe

The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign suggests the following three steps:

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.




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