BANKS will have to introduce a name-checking service when people make online payments under new plans being introduced to beat transfer fraud.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) wants the UK’s six biggest banks to alert customers if the name of someone they’re trying to pay doesn’t match the account details.
Getty – Contributor Banks will have to notify users when payee names don’t match up
These alerts should prompt customers to think twice before sending cash.
It’s a bid to crackdown on fraudsters who impersonate legitimate organisations, such as HMRC or banks, and coerce victims into making bank transfers to them.
Currently, it’s very hard to claw money back after the cash has been transferred.
There were 78,215 cases of individuals being tricked in bank transfer cons in 2018 with a whopping £228.4million stolen – but victims only got back 20 per cent of what was stolen.
How to protect yourself from fraudstersACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:
When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls – watch out for these.
You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.
The Sun has reported how readers have been conned out of large amounts of cash and not seen a penny refunded, such as landscape gardener David Hunt who lost nearly £10,000 when scammers pretended to be from HMRC.
And grandmother Jo Wilson, who had her £40,000 life savings stolen by scammers posing as staff from NatWest.
The rules were first mooted last year when it was proposed they’d be in place by July 2019.
But the plans will now be consulted on again until June 5 with the regulator keen for them to take force by March 31 2020.
They will have to be followed by Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander UK and Ulster Bank.
Although the regulator would like other banks and building societies to introduce the updates too.
Gareth Shaw, head of money at consumer group Which?, said: “This delay to the introduction of vital name-check security leaves millions of customers vulnerable to losing life-changing sums of money as a direct result of this missed deadline.
“This system, which would cut losses to bank transfer fraud in half overnight, should have been introduced years ago.
“Banks and the regulator must urgently work towards its implementation as customers cannot face further delays while they continue to fall victim to these devastating scams.”
At the moment, there’s no legal protection for victims to get their cash back.
A voluntary code designed to give more help to victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams, which was developed by the industry and consumer groups, is also due to come into force from May 28.
But it’s only voluntary, and there’s still no agreement on how fraud victims will be reimbursed when neither themselves or their bank is to blame.
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TSB has gone above the code by becomimg the first bank to promise innocent fraud victims refunds.
Chris Hemsley, co-managing director of the PSR, said: “People should be properly protected.
“This includes taking steps to prevent the fraud from happening in the first place, and confirmation of payee is an important part of this.”
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