Santander says action needed to ‘break the spell’ of scammers
Banks, government and law enforcement agencies need to work together to “break the spell” of scammers, Santander has warned.
In a new report today, the lender called for more to be done to clamp down on Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, where customers are tricked into authorising a payment to an account controlled by criminals.
Santander said the industry needed more consistent rules on data sharing and mandatory use of confirmation of payee – a fraud prevention system that lets customers know whether the name of the person they think they are paying matches the bank account number they are sending money to.
The Online Safety Bill should also be brought forward, the bank said, and “consideration should be given to linking where the scam originally started e.g. social media platform, to who is responsible for reimbursing the victim”.
Santander data shows that over 70 per cent of purchase scams originate on social media.
It also said law enforcement agencies “need to allocate significantly more resources to tackling these type of scams.”
“The sheer scale and value of APP fraud can detract from the real impact of these crimes on individual consumers, who can lose more than just money – their confidence and mental health can also be significantly harmed,” Enrique Alvarez, head of everyday banking at Santander UK, said.
“The criminals who perpetrate these scams shouldn’t be getting away with it.”
“We must all come together and address the issue, because currently the only real winners are the fraudsters.”
UK Finance reported last week that while the end of the pandemic saw a fall in overall fraud losses, over £609.8m was stolen by criminals through fraud and scams in the first half of this year. Of this total, APP fraud losses accounted for £249.1m.
Santander’s calls came as peer Metro Bank warned of a “perfect storm” for scams this winter.
“With so much upheaval from strikes, the cost of living challenges and the sheer volume of disinformation circulating, we predict that scammers will definitely try and capitalise on this to cheat the general public,” Baz Thompson, head of fraud and investigations at Metro Bank, said.