According to Which?, many victims of bank transfer scams are being treated unfairly with little chance of them getting their money back.

There has been a sharp rise in authorised push payment (APP) scams within the UK in recent years as email accounts are hacked in order to trick people into transferring money into bank accounts operated by fraudsters.

Voluntary code

In May 2019 most of the large high street banks signed up to a voluntary code. The Code gives customers increased protections against authorised push payment scams as it requires the banks to reimburse customers who fall victim to the scams.

An investigation by Which? says, however, that many people have been treated unfairly or inconsistently when attempting to recover their stolen cash. Which? said that its investigation had found some banks were “regularly blaming customers for missing warnings or not doing enough to realise they were being scammed” and then denying reimbursement.

The investigation highlighted that four of the eight banks that had signed up to the Code had fully reimbursed victims in 6% or fewer cases. One bank had fully refunded only 1% of victims. Another bank had given 59% of the victims all of their money back.

Clearly there is still work to be done to ensure victims of scammers are fairly treated. The head of money at Which?, Gareth Shaw, said: ‘The lack of fairness consistency or transparency across the industry means the chances of people getting their money back is often a total lottery.”

Forms of scam

Of course, this is just one form of scamming; there are many others and we can deliver fraud investigative services into all forms of scamming and fraud. Visit our fraud investigations page to find out more.

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