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Win! Reimbursement scheme for bank transfer scams victims announced

Bank transfer scams

The Payment Systems Regulator has announced it is consulting on plans to reimburse victims of bank transfer scams. While it’s a huge step forward, there is still more to do.

After months of waiting, today the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has finally published its promised update on what progress has been made since we issued it with our super-complaint last year.

It has been announced that, from the 1 January 2018, people who’ve been victims of a bank transfer scam will only need to deal with their bank when making a complaint – not the bank the fraudster was with.This means that banks will provide access to a dedicated team of staff trained to deal with scams.

However, the big news is that the PSR is also consulting on a reimbursement scheme for people who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster when their bank failed to do enough to protect them.

Protecting consumers

This is a huge step forward and something that we’ve been calling for, alongside our 360,000 supporters who’ve so far backed our scams campaign.

Since we launched our campaign, we’ve heard from thousands of people who’ve lost life-changing sums of money through bank transfer scams, and the impact it has had on them. Introducing a reimbursement scheme could ensure that more people aren’t left out of pocket when they’ve been a victim of this type of fraud.

And the first set of data that shows the scale of this type of fraud demonstrates why this is a vital move. A staggering £100m was lost to bank transfer scams in the first six months of this year. And nearly three quarters of this was never returned to the victims.  

The PSR’s actions in response to our super-complaint will go a long way to tackling these scams. However, if banks are going to solve this problem and really protect their customers, they must also look at what other steps they can take to stop these scams from happening in the first place.

Fraud prevention systems

Some banks are already updating their systems to try to crack down on bank transfer scams before they happen. Just last week, Lloyds introduced Fraud Checkpoint, which is a set of pop-up questions on its online banking site that prompts customers to think about whether a fraudster is trying to trick them into transferring money by posing as the bank or police.

Barclays has also recently launched a new online fraud prevention service, so customers tricked into transferring money to a fraudster using online banking can get support faster to fix the situation.

We know there is no silver bullet to solving this problem – it will involve everyone working together to tackle and continually review the weaknesses that fraudsters exploit to trick people. But a year on from our super-complaint, this announcement is a significant win for consumers if it starts to halt the flow of money currently lost to bank transfer scams.

What do you think of the PSR’s action? Do you think the proposed reimbursement scheme will properly compensate bank transfer scam victims? What other solutions would you like to see put in place?


I’v bin victims of fraud through fake ebay invoice n scammed 3k now I’m on huge debt can’t live on as got other bills n family to look after . Lloyds didn’t help me at all no refund nothing…

clive lewis says:
12 November 2017

It seems that a high level of victims are elderly and some have lost their life savings which is a tragedy which just should not be allowed to happen.

SilverTrowel says:
13 November 2017

Two things we cannot avoid: Ageing and so loss of facilities, plus the reduction of the people we once shared life and socialising with.

Both lead to our vulnerability in this increasingly technology dependant world.

The banks created this environment, by closing branches and reducing staff, pushing an automated banking paradigm. I’ve never understood how fraudsters are able to create accounts, let alone why these accounts are not flagged by banks’ anti-laundering algorithms. This is well over due – well done.

I believe consideration should be given tp imposing fines on banks that provide banking facilities to fraudsters who use their bank account for more than one fraudulent activity.

Laurie Atterbury says:
13 November 2017

I object to this scheme. Why should I have my bank charges increased because others are not able to control and secure their own bank accounts and funds? All the banks will do is pass the costs onto the customers i.e. me.

I fell victim to a scam with my credit card: The bank rang me to check that it was alright for them to hand over the £4.50 payment I was making. Of course I said yes, why would I refuse to pay someone £4.50. What I didn’t know was that after the initial payment my details were then used to charge my account £93.00 per month.
As my bank had rung me to check that I wanted to deal with the company, they then refused to stop further payments being made to this company, and of course I had to jump through hoops to stop the company from making charges on my credit card.
No mention of a possible scam was mentioned by the bank when they called. And with hindsight I now see that by phoning me they then made me complicit in the scam and were able to wipe their hands of the whole affair.

why would I refuse to pay someone £4.50..” If you did not know who you were paying, or why, then it would be sensible to check what it was about before agreeing to pay.

Its a great feeling when you let us know a great result through the petitions . Lets all keep up backing the fights against the wrongdoings of the companys and bring trust into all comerce. Lets keep up the efgirt to get tax evasion of the international big nom doms ,make them all pay their taxes like everyone else has to do…

My son lost £70,000 on a house purchase when his solicitors email was hacked. Our solicitor held his hands up straight away unlike many others who blame the clients email knowing this muddy the waters. My son acted quickly within 45 minutes and the money was stopped. A Miracle really.
The banks – santander(ours) and Lloyd’s(the fraudsters) would not communicate. Most of the fault being Santander’s total incompetence. You wouldn’t believe the nonsense that a section apparently run by wee boys and girls got up to. A nightmare!! After the involvement of the regulator we finally got our money back. VERY apparent absolutely no regulation or even volountary agreements of service. An absolute disgrace. This at least is a small step in the right direction. The banks will wriggle like eels in a bucket but hooray for ‘which’ for their perseverance.

I suppose it’s asking too much for the CID to investigate and make a case for prosecution to the CPS.

The only way to make the banks do something to stop scams is to make them pay up. They are supposed to check people out when they open accounts, I have had to jump through hoops, but these scammers seem to have no problem.

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Some people will always fall for any scam no matter how well known it is and keep on doing so you read about them every day

Colin says:
17 November 2017

I would like more protection for the banks from individuals who enter into obviously fraudulent bank transfers then claim refunds. Clearly banks need to make improvements on a continuous basis but consumers have to accept responsibility for their actions too.

Julian says:
19 November 2017

There is no wrong/right or yes/no answer to this problem. Banks need to be more honest, so do the general population. Banks need to be more careful with our info, so do we. I get half a dozen phishing emails and texts every day, some supposedly from my bank or the HMRC.
There is no easy answer, and simply blaming (the banks) will not solve the problem.

I think people should take some responsibility for their own actions, the banks should not have to pay-out for people not taking care of what they are doing, checking the bank details of where they are sending money by phone or other method.

Many people do seem to want to take any responsibility for anything they want someone else to do everything for them Modern thinking maybe or lazy people ?

I had a company ring me representing microsoft and not!they wanted four hundred pounds First Direct declined payment as they knew it was fraud

I would like to bring the following to your attention. Be careful about fixed term accounts as I was recently a victim of APP Scam. The banks didnot want to help and told me to seek legal advice however I reminded them that they have signed the APP Code of practice which states unless they can prove negligence on my part, they have to reimburse me in full. I received a full reimbursement of £54,000 this week.

I was scammed into a Bank transfer after checking the company out online before I sent any money what I didn’t know was that somebody had taken over the company details and the money was going to them I lost £8000 I did contact Action for fraud but by the time they sent someone out the culprit had returned to Pakistan he was a student and his visa had expired after trying to get the money back from Lloyds bank I tried the system regulator but they took the banks side and I lost all that money.