BST study finds third of people reportedly struggling to eat after under £ 500 fraud


About one in three people (32%) would struggle to feed themselves and their family if they lost less than £ 500 to fraud, with that figure rising to 50% for a loss of £ 1,000, according to a news report study conducted for BST.

TSB launched its own fraud money back guarantee in 2019 to cover people who get scammed due to an honest mistake. He found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of people would argue that their bank offers a guaranteed refund.

Many banks have signed up for a voluntary refund code to help people who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster, but some are concerned that some will expect customers to have in-depth knowledge of scams.

Other recent initiatives from the banking and construction industry have included setting up hotlines that customers can call if they receive a suspicious contact that could be a scam.

TSB said industry figures show that, on average, people lose £ 3,346 to authorized push payment (APP) scams where they are tricked into transferring money.

More than a quarter (28%) of the 2,000 people who took part in the survey said their mental health would be affected if they lost less than £ 500 to scammers, rising to 45% if they lost £ 1,000 .

The TSB has found that young people are more likely to have been victimized or to know someone who has been the victim of fraud in the past 12 months – one-third of those aged 18 to 34 (32%) being agreement compared to less than a fifth of 35 to 54 year olds (18%) and 13% of over 55s.

The bank said its guarantee has paid off 98% of all bank fraud cases since April 2019, up from 42% of funds lost to fraud returned to the victim across the industry, rising to 49% under voluntary reimbursement from the sector. coded.

Seven in 10 respondents (72%) said customers should be informed about their bank’s performance on fraud refunds.

The TSB said its money back guarantee has helped it become better informed about the nature of fraud cases because of the more transparent conversations customers now have with its fraud department – as they realize they don’t. are not “blamed”. He argued that this approach protects mental health as well as finances.

Latest scams to watch out for

The UK Finance trade association has argued that criminals are exploiting weaknesses beyond the control of banks – and coordinated action including other sectors is needed to tackle what it has described as a threat to national security.

Debbie Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer of the TSB, said: “There is still a lot to be done to better protect people and for industry and government to work together to combat this threat.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said: “With so many people walking a financial tightrope right now, struggling to deal with the triple whammy of rising household bills, cuts in benefits and when the holidays are over, the very last thing they need is to be targeted by unscrupulous criminals.

“Fraud can have a catastrophic and life-changing impact, not only financially, but also on people’s trust, well-being and relationships.

“There are still far too many cases where innocent people are tricked by criminals into accepting a fraudulent transaction and then having to fight their bank for a refund.

“With only about half of victims reimbursed under the banking code, it’s clear that it’s not working as well as it should. The TSB’s recognition that we can all be victims of fraud and that banks are the better placed to provide protection is very welcome. “

Age UK offers free information on its website to help people avoid scams, find out more here.

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A UK finance spokesperson said: “Fraud has a devastating emotional impact on victims and the stolen money is used to fund serious organized crime.

“The banking industry invests billions in advanced systems to prevent fraud in the first place, but criminals exploit weaknesses beyond the control of banks, such as online platforms, to target customers. action across sectors to tackle what is now a threat to national security. “

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