Fraud victims lose £28,000 to bank transfer scams every hour

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Victims lose more to bank transfer scams every hour than the average UK worker earns per year, which one? research reveals, as the consumer champion calls on the government to act urgently on its commitment to legislate mandatory reimbursement for victims.

A voluntary refund code on wire transfer scams, also known as authorized push payment (APP) fraud, was introduced in May 2019, and most major banks have signed it.

However, the analysis of Which? Figures from UK Finance show that between July 2019 and the end of June 2021, a total of £854 million was lost in 306,573 APP fraud cases, and only 42% of the losses were returned to the customer.

As a result, £495m went unpaid meaning customers had to bear net losses at a rate of £4.7m per week, £676,881 per day or £28,203 pounds per hour.

Which? says the current refund lottery leaves many victims facing an uphill struggle to get their money back, as the code has been applied inconsistently and often wrongly by many companies.

Which? takes the view that a refund obligation should be imposed on payment providers, with clear liability rules set out in legislation.

Rocio Concha, which one? The Director of Policy and Advocacy says: “While the commitments to make reimbursement mandatory have been a huge win for consumers, it is essential that the government introduces the right legislation that will ensure victims are treated fairly and coherent.

“The regulator must also ensure that it is ready to introduce and enforce mandatory reimbursement rules by the time this legislation is passed.”

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