Authorised push payment (APP) fraud is one of the fastest growing types of scams around. It’s claimed more than £145 million was lost in the first half of this year, which is 44% higher than in the same period of last year.1
Financial providers were able to return just £30.9 million of the losses – and now steps are being taken to better protect individuals.
Here’s everything you need to know about APP - and how to avoid it.
What is APP fraud?
This scam involves the fraudster tricking their victims into willingly making large bank transfers to them.
For example, they may pose as someone from your bank, or another trusted organisation, claim you have been a victim of fraud and say you need to move your money to a different bank account. Often there is a demand for you to act quickly.
Other common scenarios involve a criminal impersonating a conveyancer and stealing money for a house deposit, or pretending to be your builder to steal money saved to pay for renovations.
How to avoid APP fraud
If anyone asks you to divert a payment or move your savings – question it to the highest level. Make sure you phone the bank or firm directly and check on any changes to payment details. Don’t rely on emails - they could be intercepted.
Never rush a payment, as a genuine organisation won't mind waiting.
What steps are being taken to protect individuals?
Next year will see two big initiatives to help tackle APP.
- APP Scams Steering Group’s code
- Bank checks
This aims to help protect consumers by making it harder for criminals to commit APP fraud from early 2019.
It will set out how consumers can be vigilant and take reasonable steps to protect themselves, while giving them greater levels of protection and support from their banks. Importantly, it will propose the principle that where a consumer has taken the requisite level of care to avoid fraud, they should be reimbursed.
Banks will make more vigilant checks that could protect customers against APP scammers. From next year the new Confirmation of Payee service2 will ensure the payee name and account details match before allowing customers to transfer money. They will then alert customers if they are not paying who they think they are.