Love at First Swipe

Picking up on the closing point in yesterday’s blog post re APP fraud, figures from the Consumer Association show a staggering £674 is lost each minute to push payment fraud, working out at £40,445 an hour, £970,685 a day and £29.5 million a month.

Push payment fraud is when a criminal convinces someone to transfer them cash - often by impersonating the police, the tax man or even the customer's bank itself. They can be incredibly convincing and have a string of tricks to make you believe you're acting in your own interest.

However, as it's you are making the transfer, banks have previously said it's not their fault and refused to reimburse victims. Last year, less than a quarter of the money lost to this sort of fraud was returned to consumers.

There is also even stronger consumer protection in the works, with the payment system regulator taking steps to prevent you ever transferring cash to someone you don't know by accident. But the introduction of this "confirmation of payee" (name check security) system has been delayed until March 2020.

The Guardian once described Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud as a “cruel scam so slick even the vigilant can be duped”. Payments made using real-time payment schemes are irrevocable, so cannot be reversed once victims realise they have been conned. And because payments have technically been authorised by the customer, there’s no redress, the newspaper adds.

FICO says that “these criminals are devious and clever, and victims cannot simply be written off as gullible fools”.

Although protection is limited, UK Finance has a series of tips for bank customers: internet users should never disclose security details, such as their PIN or banking password, and should never assume an email, text or phone call is authentic.

On a much less grand and complex scale, POLICE were warning people in Swindon late year about a female scam artist asking kind strangers to hand over money after telling a sob story. The woman approached unsuspecting victims telling them she has lost her keys or is asking for money to get home and has already struck in two separate incidents which police believe are connected.

However impassioned or realistic the appeal may seem — or how many Good Samaritan strings are tugging at your heart. You aren’t helping someone in need; you’re being played like a banjo. Such individuals are always on the lookout for someone who looks trustworthy and helpful.

The advice provided by another blogYou must NEVER give your bank details to anyone or transfer any money into anyone’s bank account. These are complete strangers. You have never met them, and they prey on people’s fantasies and on their desperation to find someone to love. If you come across similar situations, you should block these people and report them to the help desk on your dating app of choice.