Santander issues warning as woman lost over £8,000 in devastating scam | Personal Finance | Finance

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APP fraud is a scam where the victim is tricked into making large bank transfers to an account posing as a legitimate payee. Deborah Wright was left devastated when she lost £8,000 of savings to fraud in October.

Ms Wright had given her bank details to a fraudulent website that she thought was legitimate while online shopping.

A few weeks later, the 55-year-old got a phone call from a man claiming to be from her bank’s fraud department.

The fraudster said her bank account was under attack, and persuaded her to download some software that allowed them to take control of her computer.

The fraudster, who kept reassuring her that she was safe, asked her about her other accounts and got her to transfer money out of her other accounts too.

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This included savings that had taken years to build up for her grandson, and for a holiday in America.

She lost more than £8,000 across a couple of her accounts.

While this was happening, she got warnings from her bank but the fraudster did not give her time to read them. He knew they were coming, and told her he was sending them.

On BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme she said: “I was allowing everything to go through, just thinking it was safe.


About 10 high street banks are signed up to a code – the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code – which aims to give money back to people who fall victim to this kind of scam.

Online fraud and scams are now one of the main crimes in the UK, with over £600million stolen in the first half of 2022, according to UK Finance figures published in October 2022.

Over half (£360million) was the result of authorised push payment (APP) scams, where criminals trick customers into authorising payments.

Santander released a ‘Tackling Authorised Push Payment Fraud’ report outlining its recommendations for putting the brakes on APP fraud.

The bank is urging those from the banking and payment sectors to the private sector, Government and law enforcement to come together to tackle the rise in this criminal activity.

The recommendations for Government and other industries to implement are:

  • Prevent fraudsters from reaching people in the first place – the Online Safety Bill should be brought forward, 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;
  • Greater collaboration between Law Enforcement and Industry – law enforcement must have sufficient skills and resource to adequately respond to the crime; and
  • Provide clear and accountable leadership – there needs to be effective and streamlined Government leadership dedicated to tackling APP fraud.

Enrique Alvarez, head of everyday banking at Santander UK said: “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.

“Unfortunately, we see this far too often, and it is time for us all to act together. The criminals who perpetrate these scams shouldn’t be getting away with it.

“As our report shows, there are changes the banking industry can implement – but there are other changes that are clearly outside the banking industry’s control – like how fraudsters often reach their victims in the first place.

“We must all come together and address the issue, because currently, the only real winners are the fraudsters.”

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