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Consumers still exposed to bank transfer scams

One in 10 falling victim to a crime with little chance of recouping their money

Banks are still leaving customers exposed when it comes to bank transfer scams, five months after the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) found evidence that they could be doing more, new Which? research has found. 

People are still losing money, and Which? now warns it has not yet seen enough evidence that the industry is making progress in protecting its customers, as it calls on the next government to take tough action on financial fraud.

From a survey of more than 2,000 people, one in 10 (8%) had made a bank transfer, or knew someone that had made a payment, that later turned out to be to a fraudster. Of those people who had lost money to bank transfer scams, more than half (54%) had been victims in the last six months.

‘I lost £10,000 to bank transfer fraud’ – read one victim’s story


How to support our bank transfer fraud campaign


People losing-life changing sums

These latest findings highlight that some people are still losing life-changing sums of money to this type of scam, with nearly four in 10 (37%) saying they didn’t get any money back at all.

In September 2016, Which? made the first super-complaint to a financial regulator, calling on the industry to do more to better protect its customers from bank transfer scams. The new research shows that 80% of people think that banks should be responsible for recouping money lost to bank transfer scams.

Following a lack of clear improvements from the industry, Which? is today writing to banks calling for them to clearly outline what action they are taking to safeguard consumers from bank transfer scams.

The impact of scams – a real life story

Government must tackle fraud

Tackling financial fraud and scams must be a top priority for the next government, according to 31% of consumers. In its Consumer Agenda, Which? is urging the next government to set out an ambitious plan to ​ensure that financial institutions do more to protect ​consumers from ​bank ​transfer scams.

Gareth Shaw, money expert at Which?, said: ‘Despite the fact that consumers are still losing life-changing sums of money to fraudsters, it’s not clear what meaningful action the banks have taken to protect their customers.

‘People assume that banks will look after them and their money. So it’s vital that the industry, regulator and next government act quickly and decisively to tackle financial fraud. Failure to do so will continue to leave consumers paying the price.’

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