TSB has vowed to refund all victims of fraud – but other banks are refusing to do the same.
Instead, they are hiding behind a new voluntary code due in May that has been slammed as weak. Today we applaud TSB and urge others to follow its lead.
Last year in the UK, £1.2billion was lost in 2.7million cases of bank fraud — an average of £444 per case.
Most of it went through thieves hacking into internet and mobile bank accounts or using stolen cards and fraudulent cheques.
These crimes are classed as “unauthorised” fraud — and you should be able to get your money back if it happens to you.
But there is another type of fast-growing swindle that can be far more devastating — authorised push payment (APP) fraud.
It works by scammers tricking you into handing over large chunks of your cash.
Banks refuse refunds in these cases because they blame you for losing it in the first place.
All banks must now follow TSB’s lead and ensure that their own customers are not left paying for the cost of this crime.
Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor
Nearly 85,000 victims lost a total of £354.3million through APP scams last year. That’s an average of £4,168 per case — but for some it was a lot worse.
One property investor lost £600,000 when fraudsters impersonated his solicitor as he transferred the deposit for a house and directed him to transfer it to their own account.
On Monday, TSB pledged to refund ALL fraud victims — as long as they do not repeatedly ignore safety warnings.
Rival banks are refusing to make the same commitment, instead pledging to follow a voluntary code that starts on May 28. It allows them to refuse to reimburse customers who ignore scam warnings.
The code also considers whether a customer has tried to protect themselves. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
It is also a short-term solution as banks have only agreed funding until the end of the year, when it is hoped an alternative solution can be found. This might involve all customers paying a levy.
Which? Money editor Jenny Ross said: “For years, people have lost life-changing sums of money to increasingly sophisticated scams, and then faced a gruelling battle to get their money back.
“All banks must now follow TSB’s lead and ensure that their own customers are not left paying for the cost of this crime.”
Until others follow TSB’s lead, you will need to know how to protect yourself from being duped by APP scams. Today, we show you how.
‘£40k savings swindle was extraordinarily distressing’
RETIRED AA operations manager David Murrey, 72, lost £40,000 savings after he was targeted by fraudsters last April.
They phoned pretending to be from Virgin Media and told him hackers had got into his PC. He believes they already had remote access to his computer but he was likely tricked into handing it over by clicking on a scam email or pop up.
The swindlers told David his help was vital to track the hackers. He just needed to transfer money from his bank account to one for the imaginary criminals to see as bait.
The fraudsters said they would provide this – and £40,000 appeared in David’s Nationwide current account. But the money was switched from his linked Nationwide savings account which needs no additional authorisation.
David followed instructions to go to his local branch and transfer the £40,000 to a Barclays account. The money was moved in 30 minutes before David could work out what had happened.
It was 3.45pm on a Friday and staff had told him the money would not go until the Monday. David, from Elstree, Herts, said: “It’s extraordinarily distressing.”