Banks often blame customers for fraud issues

The Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed that there is a 36% rise in complaints with regards to how banks dealt with fraud and scams when compared to 2019.

Last year, many banks and financial institutions signed up to the voluntary code, which meant that they refunded victims of fraud, if the victim isn’t at fault. An example of this is when the victim has been tricked by fraudsters into transferring money from their account to the criminal’s.

Fraudsters tend to impersonate the police, government departments and some pretend to be the banks themselves and convince victims to part with their cash. They tend to target the vulnerable and elderly.

However, incidents are just confined to these instances. In conveyancing, criminals often purport to be the solicitor and fraudulently steal money from clients. Similar pitfalls could come into play both in private client and family law.

Last year £456m was stolen from over 100,000 victims.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, on their Money Box programme, Debbie Enever a spokeswoman from the Ombudsman, said:

“Under the code that came in last year, the presumption was supposed to be that consumers would get their money back unless they were at fault in some way.

“We’re just not seeing that the banks are following through on that at the moment.”

During the programme, Ms Enever reveaked that “work still needs to be done” on the voluntary code the banks signed up to, as banks “too often” blame victims for falling foul of fraudsters.

Tips to keep yourself safe

On many people’s online banking or banking apps, there are now a number of stages people have to go through to check that the money is going where it is intended. As people agree and accept that indeed the money is going in the right direction, the banks seem to waive liability.

However, if you’re paying an invoice and bank account details have changed, it’s worth calling the person/business you’ll be paying to double check their bank details.

Remember, the Police, government departments or banks will not contact you via telephone or email and ask for money.

 

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