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Banking Scams – Whose Side are the Banks On?

Banks have been told it is unfair to blame customers for losing money through scams.

ADVICE – our 5 ‘must do’ tips for avoiding banking scams

£240m was taken from bank accounts by fraudsters last year, but only £60m was returned by the banks and building societies.

The Financial Ombudsman (FO) service have said that because of the growing sophistication of the fraudsters, it is now wrong to assume a customer’s negligence is the reason for a scam’s success.

“It’s not fair to automatically call a customer grossly negligent simply because they’ve fallen for a scam.

“That’s especially true in light of the sophisticated way criminals exploit banks’ security systems – and convince customers that their money is at risk,” said Caroline Wayman, Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

In one case, a man called Brian had contacted the FO after he failed to be reimbursed £7,000 by his bank after being a victim of a text message scam.

Assuming the texts were from his bank, he unwittingly revealed security details of his online banking.

His bank said this was ‘grossly negligent’ and refused to refund the money.

However, the FO determined that the fraud has been sufficiently sophisticated and the customer was in fact not at fault

They forced the bank to reimburse Brian’s £7,000.

Ms Wayman said there was now “a very high bar” for banks to prove customers had been “grossly negligent”.

“If they can’t do that, it’s likely we’ll tell them to cover the money their customer has lost”.

Here are our 5 easy-to-follow tips to help you not become a victim:

✓ Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology now means it is not hard to create fake caller ID, so the name and number you see on your incoming call display should not always be believed.

✓ Pay safely. Credit cards offer a significant level of fraud protection and accountability. Transferring money via the likes of Western Union or MoneyGram is far riskier because it becomes nearly impossible to get your money back.

✓ Hang up on automated calls. If you answer your phone to a voice that you suspect is not a live voice from a real person – hang up. These ‘robocalls’ can often incur costs just for staying on the line, so don’t be tempted by the “press 1 now to opt out” type instructions. They are just designed to protract the call

✓ Check them out. Any trustworthy source will not make you feel like you are being bullied into a decision. If you feel like you are having pressure applied to you, hang up and do some research on them.

✓ Call your bank. If you suspect anything, call your bank first. Banks will never request your PIN; if your ‘bank’ asks for your PIN you should immediately know it is not them.

Crown Utilities are a leading provider of gas, water and electricity solutions. With us, it’s about exceeding your expectations and eradicating the need to go to numerous companies. That’s why we offer a one-stop-shop for all things gas, water and electricity. We contact all relevant companies for you so you needn’t ever worry about energy company scams, because we do the work for you! The only person you’ll have contact with is your Account Manager.

Call us today on 0800 027 5052 to find out how we can help you with a range of Multi-Utility Services

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