Today Which? is submitting our report to the Lending Standards Board, sharing the experiences of consumers who have lost out to authorised push payment (APP) scams.
It is one year since the launch of the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code as a step forward in how to treat victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams.
As you know Which? has campaigned hard for action on APP scams. As part of our super-complaint to the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) four years ago we collected evidence from nearly 600 fraud victims who told us they had collectively lost over £5.5 million to bank transfer scams.
We are pleased to see the code has led to more innocent people being reimbursed after falling victim to this type of scam. In the last full year before the code launched, just 19% of the amount lost by individuals was returned to them. In the first six months following the launch of the code, signatory firms reimbursed 41%. However, there are some glaring inconsistencies in how banks are treating their customers.
Today’s report captures some of the many experiences of consumers who have lost out to APP scams. We hope that this will help inform the Lending Standards Board in their review of the code, and highlight what still needs to be done to protect consumers.
As part of today’s report we are also calling on the PSR to review whether a voluntary code is the best approach.
We are worried that banks are failing to implement the code fairly and consistently, leaving customers scared, confused on what options are available, and unfairly out of pocket.
According to the PSR, four of the eight signatory firms had fully reimbursed victims in 6% or fewer cases between May 2019 and February 2020. One firm fully reimbursed just 1% of victims, while a different firm had fully reimbursed 59% of victims.
Which? has had to intervene multiple times to help victims of APP fraud get reimbursed.
We believe that banks, regulators, and the government must work together to make the code mandatory and ensure that strong standards on reimbursement are introduced.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
If you think you have been scammed, you should contact your bank or card provider immediately. You should also contact the bank where your money was sent, as they may be able to stop the transaction.
Register for scam alerts
Which?’s free scam alert service will help keep you informed on the latest scams.
Do you feel enough is being done to help victims of these scams? Have you had an experience of attempting to get reimbursed on a bank transfer scam? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.