This type of fraud is on the increase and is carried out when criminals trick customers into making a payment or transferring money to them, in the belief that they are making a payment to a genuine person or organisation. This means that you have authorised and ‘pushed’ the money into the fraudster’s account.
Criminals use a range of tactics to target people, often impersonating someone else to exploit our naturally trusting nature. They may pretend to be from your bank or building society, the police, card company, or a government department.
|Example of an Authorised Push Payment Fraud|
Mr A received a call from a man saying he was from a building society Fraud Team and that there had been fraudulent attempts to clear out their account. Mr A held an account at the building society.
The fraudster insinuated that the fraud could have been conducted by a member of building society branch staff by questioning use of the card and visits to the local branch. This made Mr A reluctant to discuss the matter with a member of branch staff.
In order to safeguard Mr A’s cash, the caller advised that they should transfer the funds to another account.
The number displayed on the phone appeared to be that of the building society’s Fraud Telephone Number when Mr A checked it on the website, giving him assurance that the call was genuine.
The caller then talked Mr A through how to transfer the money using internet banking.The caller was very concerned for the customer and appeared very genuine, but highlighted the urgency of taking immediate action, without providing time for Mr A to think about what was happening. The money was transferred as requested to a bank account.
The fraud was reported almost immediately, however, the money had already been withdrawn from the bank account and the customer lost £4,950 of their savings.
The fraudsters have since contacted this customer to use the same scenario for a different account.
Mr A is not a customer of the Society.
Most people don’t think that they would fall victim to a scam – they think it only happens to the elderly or vulnerable, however, recent data shows in the first 6 months of 2018, 34,000 consumers lost £145.4 million* (* Source: UK Finance) as a result of this type of fraud.
In most cases when you realise this has happened to you, you’ll call your financial services provider to let them know what has happened, often, finding out it’s too late and the criminal has made off with your money.
Here are some tips to avoid this happening to you: