TSB Bank have demanded that Meta-owned companies, such as Facebook and Whatsapp, take greater responsibility for fraud carried out on their platforms as the government launches its new fraud crackdown.
Launched earlier this week, the government’s fraud strategy laid out a series of proposals to stop online scammers, but it dropped plans to make tech companies responsible for compensating victims.
While many banks were supportive of the government’s broader fraud strategy, they argue that tech companies should also be held responsible for fraud perpetrated on their platforms.
In the three biggest categories of fraud – purchase scams, impersonation scams and investment scams – 80 per cent of took place through Meta-owned companies, TSB Bank said.
It found that fraud on Facebook marketplace nearly doubled between January 2021 to December 2022, while impersonation scams on Whatsapp increased by 300 per cent.
“Social media companies must urgently clean up their platforms to protect the countless innocent people who use their services every day,” Paul Davis, TSB’s director of fraud prevention, said.
Lloyds’ fraud prevention director, Liz Ziegler, agreed. “We’ll only make urgently needed progress in addressing the root cause of fraud when big tech, social media and communications companies take their share of responsibility to stop scams at source,” she said.
Similarly, a Santander spokesperson argued that “bringing fraud enablers in telecoms and technology into the reimbursement model [would hopefully] further incentivise all sectors to invest in prevention.”
A Meta spokesperson said: “This is an industry-wide issue and scammers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to defraud people in a range of ways including email, SMS and offline.
“We don’t want anyone to fall victim to these criminals which is why our platforms have systems to block scams, financial services advertisers now have to be FCA authorised and we run consumer awareness campaigns on how to spot fraudulent behaviour,” the spokesperson added.