Glasgow bank fraud scam warning

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Glasgow scam warning as customers fall victim to bank fraud

Glasgow scam warning as customers fall victim to bank fraud

By Catriona Stewart
28th October 2019

Bank bosses are warning customers to be alert to scams as figures show Glasgow customers to be some of the worst affected by fraud loss in the UK.

Bank fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country as fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and devising new ways to attack customers and wipe out their savings.

Victims can be too embarrassed to come forward as scammers have preyed on their emotions to rob them of cash.

Ashley Hart, Head of Fraud at TSB, said: "When you step back and look at the figures it's quite a frightening picture across the UK.

"Everyone is probably aware now that the email from the Nigerian prince is a scam.

"But there is a level of sophistication of scams that people would not expect.

"Criminal gangs are spending tens of thousands of pounds on setting up these cons because they know they will be getting paid back.

"Others are more straightforward - just a text message - but they are done on a large scale."

Mr Hart points to a recent scam where people received a text message supposedly from HMRC off Others scams involve catching people at times they are likely to be vulnerable, such as in the middle of the night, and rely on creating a sense of urgency.

Scammers will pretend to be from a bank and tell victims their money must be moved to a "safe account".

These "safe account" scams can steal between £8,000 and £12,000 from victims.

Criminals raked in the cash as people filled in forms for their 'refund' - and so handed over important personal details.

He says that victims are also carefully selected, such as those who are emotionally vulnerable from being newly widowed or who have come into an inheritance.

Scams such as "romance fraud" can leave victims distressed as they believed they were in a meaningful relationship.

Fraud cases are also, Mr Hart said, be upsetting for the staff tasked to deal with them.

Mr Hart said it was unclear exactly why Glasgow customers are so vulnerable to scammers but they are most likely to be targeted by telephone scams.

In 2018/19, 9,675 fraud crimes were recorded by Police Scotland – a 12 per cent increase on 2017/18 and a 40 per cent increase since 2014/15.

The latest figures show that almost £616 million was stolen by fraudsters in the first half of 2019 but the finance industry successfully prevented £820 million of unauthorised fraud - the equivalent of £2 out of every £3 of attempted fraud.

Some £208m was also stolen through ‘authorised push payment fraud’ – where people are conned into paying money into an account controlled by a criminal. Just 17% of these losses across the industry were refunded to customers.

Losses due to unauthorised transactions on cards, cheques and remote banking reached £408.3m in the first half of 2019, an increase of 2 per cent on 2018.

Losses were £36m lower than those recorded in the second half of 2018, as banks continue to invest in fighting fraud.

TSB uses the Banking Protocol to try to prevent customers being ripped off. This is a rapid response scheme where branch staff alert police and Trading Standards if they suspect a fraud is taking place.

It is also the first bank to launch a fraud refund guarantee which will cover any innocent customers for all types of fraud losses....
 
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