Electronic Funds Transfer: Fraud

Home Office written question – answered at on 27 February 2024.

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Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Conservative, Waveney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number of authorised push payment scam cases that have originated online in the last five years.

Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

UK Finance analysis of nearly seven thousand authorised push payment (APP) scam cases shows that 70 per cent of scams originated on an online platform - highlighting the internet's significant role in enabling fraud. This includes data from UK Finance members only, for the whole of the UK. More details on this can be found here: https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/press/press-releases/over-two-thirds-of-all-app-scams-start-online-new-uk-finance-analysis

To protect victims against APP scams, ten of the UK’s largest banks are currently signed up to the voluntary Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) Code. In 2022, £248m of losses to APP scams were reimbursed to victims under the commitments of this code.

Recognising that more needed to be done to protect people from this devastating crime, through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, the government legislated to require the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to introduce mandatory reimbursement for APP scams within the Faster Payment System, where 98% of APP fraud takes place. This will come into force in October 2024.

The retail banking sector’s primary fraud concern was the rise of Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud (where someone is tricked into sending money to a criminal). The sector therefore committed to the following key deliverables in the charter:

o Better utilise technology to share data to detect potential frauds. o Capture and analyse data reported to them from victims of APP fraud. o Provide customers with greater control over account features

The Online Safety Act (OSA) will mean that companies are held to account by an independent regulator if they fail to remove illegal content on their platforms.

Alongside the OSA, the Government has created the Online Fraud Charter: a voluntary agreement bringing together the largest companies in the tech sector, who have committed to a series of actions aimed at reducing fraud on their platforms and services. The Charter was signed on 30th November and will deliver a much quicker and more targeted response than regulation.

The OSA is an ambitious and forward-looking piece of legislation that will tackle online harms including fraud and fraudulent advertising.

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