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12 October 2018


Industry group, UK Finance have discovered that customers of UK banks have had more than £500m stolen from their accounts at the start of this year. This consisted of £358m being lost to unauthorised fraud and £145m being obtained through authorised push payment (APP) scams. The difference being banks usually refund unauthorised fraud victims, whereas APP victims are rarely refunded.

At the start of 2017, APP scams hit a total of £101m, and this number has now shown an increase of £44m, since four more banks reported fraud data.

UK Finance’s managing director for economic crime, Katy Worobec discussed how the new figures highlighted fraud as a top “major threat” in the UK. She also stated that the money obtained from bank accounts are used to fund terrorism, people smuggling and drug trafficking.”

Gareth Shaw, a representative from the consumer group Which? reported that APP scams were the subject of a “super-complaint” in September 2016, prompting them to urge banks to take on more responsibility when their customers are routinely victimised.

He also discussed the negligence in relation to UK banks as “woefully insufficient and also added:

“They have not done enough to protect their customers, who continue to lose life-changing sums of money to ever-more sophisticated crooks.”

UK bank account owners should be aware of impersonation scams when online, with the most prevalent scams involving payments for cars or holidays that are never provided, resulting in mass amounts of financial and personal losses.

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