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.

Elderly Money Mules

According to Sky News, the under 25s are six times more likely to fall victim to criminals using social media platforms than over 50s .. scamming teenage 'money mules' on Instagram and Snapchat being one such form of fraud.

The rapidly growing phenomenon of "money mules" being where thousands of young people are being coerced by criminals into laundering the proceeds of crime through their bank accounts.

For the over 50s … the “elderly money mules” … someone in a vulnerable state may just as likely be tricked into handing over details of their bank accounts and other personal information to the criminals, who then raid their accounts or make financial transactions using those stolen details.

To get people to agree to become money mules, fraudsters might lure you in with a promise of easy money for little to no effort. A trick that both the under 25s and over 50s may be just as susceptible to.

Sometimes scammers use a dodgy “make money from your own home” job listing to advertise becoming a money mule. What potential money mules won’t hear, is how easy it is for a transaction like that to be held by your bank, and the potential consequences of being caught attempting to launder money.

It is one of the ways criminals can use to make their profits more difficult to trace.

There are repercussions to acting as a money mule. Former mules have had their accounts shut down and have found it difficult to open new ones. When they go to get a new account, loan or credit card the company can see a flag attached to their name and it could influence their decision to allow you to access credit or a new account.

Worst case … If you knowingly allow your account details to be used for fraud, you could face a sentence of 14 years in prison.

If you get contacted through social media or any other channel for that matter, immediately report the account for illegal activity, and hopefully it’ll stop someone else falling victim in the future.

You can also report suspected criminal activity to ActionFraud.

Whatever you do, don’t share your account details with someone you don’t trust.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This mornings thought from Monzo albeit through an old blog post …. Authorised push payment fraud (APP fraud) is THE fastest growing type of fraud in the UK. Over 35,000 people lost a total of £145 million to it in the first half of 2018.

Authorised push payment fraud is where someone tricks you into sending them money from your account.