Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser has called on retail banks to do more to protect customers from scams or pay out compensation to customers caught out by fraudsters.
Statistics have revealed that UK banking customers were defrauded of more than half a billion pounds in the first half of 2018. In cases of credit card fraud banks refunded customers but where people had fallen victim to either email or phone scams, customers were not made whole again.
Of the half a billion pounds taken from UK customers, industry group UK Finance said that £145m was due to authorised push payment (APP) scams, in which people are conned into sending money to another account.
Consumer rights advocate, Which?, has lodged a super complaint with the payments system regulator calling on banks to do more when customers are scammed by APP frauds.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“Almost everyone in the UK will have been affected or known someone to have fallen victim to a banking or internet scam.
“It is hugely concerning to have half a billion pounds stolen from UK bank accounts in the first half of this year and more must be done to protect customers.
“A significant proportion of these scams were authorised push payment schemes where customers are tricked into sending criminals, posing as a legitimate party, huge sums of money. In these cases, there is almost zero chance of money being returned and banks need to step up and shoulder more of the responsibility here.
“I have been contacted by several people and businesses in Perth and Kinross, Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire who have fallen victim to APP frauds and many are calling for the current checks to improve or banks to pay compensation.
“As we move away from branch-based banking, the number of APP scams will only increase and the current system is clearly not fit for purpose.”