Online Scams on the Rise, Banks Warning

Online Scams on the Rise
Banks warn of online scams with 77% of scams occurring on social media, online marketplaces, and dating apps. Protect yourself with strong passwords.

Online Scams on the Rise, Banks Warn

Table Of Content

  • Online Scams on the Rise, Banks Warn
  • The Epidemic of Scams
  • Funds Returned

Banks are warning people about a significant increase in fraud in 2022, with most of it happening online. According to Barclays, 77% of scams are now taking place on social media, online marketplaces, and dating apps. TSB has reported a surge in impersonation, investment, and purchase fraud cases, with WhatsApp impersonation scams tripling in a year and fake listings on Facebook Marketplace doubling. There have also been huge fraud spikes on platforms owned by Meta, such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

The Epidemic of Scams

Liz Ziegler, Lloyds Banking Group's fraud prevention director, has called the situation an "epidemic of scams." She believes that companies responsible for the main tech platforms must be held accountable for stopping scams at the source and making things right for innocent victims. NatWest's chief executive, Alison Rose, has also reported that three million people in the UK were victims of fraud in 2022, with 60% of frauds originating on social media and technology platforms.

TSB has reported that 60% of purchase fraud cases happen on Facebook Marketplace, and two-thirds of impersonation fraud cases are happening on WhatsApp. The bank issued 2,650 refunds covering these cases last year. Paul Davis, TSB's director of fraud prevention, believes that social media companies must urgently clean up their platforms to protect consumers. He said, "It's high time that social media and telephone companies took financial liability for the rising levels of fraud taking place on their platforms."

Funds Returned

According to UK Finance, which represents the banking and finance sector, 56% of the total amount lost to scams was returned to customers in the first half of 2022. Many banks, including NatWest, Lloyds, and Barclays, are signed up to the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code, which aims to reimburse people if they fall victim to an Authorized Push Payment (APP) scam and have acted appropriately. TSB reimburses people in 97% of all fraud cases it sees and is campaigning for others to follow suit.

Consumer group Which? Has called for stronger protections for consumers against fraud on social media. The Online Safety Bill has been going through Parliament for more than a year, and progress has been slow. The government must take a vital step in the fight against fraud by ensuring the bill includes the strongest possible protections for consumers and is passed into law without further delays.

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