Bank transfer is costing the victims £28,000 every hour, while banks reimburse less than half of the money lost.
Statistics reveal that between July 2019 and the end of June 2021, over 300,000 customers who feel victim to authorized push payment fraud lost a total of £854 million.
Although most banks have signed up to voluntarily reimburse all customers who are not at fault, only 42% of the losses have been returned according to the UK Finance figures. Hence, £495million has not been reimbursed, leaving the victims to bear the losses at a rate of £4.7million a week; an equivalent of £676,881 a day and £28203 an hour.
This means that the victims are losing more money to bank transfer scams every hour than an average UK workers salary in a year. A scenario by a Santander customer explained how some of the scams come about stating that he was defrauded of about £3,600 after falling for an impersonation scam on Whatsapp where the scammer pretended to be his son, tricking him to transfer money to an account to supposedly help him pay for a bill. However, the account details showed a variation from that of his sons’ but he thought it was a friend to his son and then he transferred the money.
On discovery that it was not his son, the bank reimbursed the victim after which a statement of complaint was written indicating the scam processes used to defraud people.
With the introduction of the voluntary reimbursement code on bank transfers in May 2019, the Director of Policy and Advocacy expected a consistent and fair decisions by Banks to provide the safeguards promised to the victims. However, the tables turned as the reimbursement code is leaving many victims to face an uphill struggle to recover their money.
The senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown therefore warned that “Scammers are real shape shifters and are ready to change their tactics depending on the situation. There is no part of your finances that are safe from them whether it be savings, investment or pension”. It is therefore vital to remain vigilant.
He also admonished the victims and the non-victims that they should beware of been contacted out of the blue for a speedy financial transaction as no one has the right to demand your money and certainly no bank has the right to pressure you to make speedy decisions.