Credit card fraud overshadowed by £ 355million ‘push payment’ criminal scams
Criminals are always looking for new ways to steal our money. With banks tightening up on credit card fraud, scammers are trying to trick us more directly.
Push payment scams involve criminals tricking us into voluntarily handing over our money to them. According to a study by Hargreaves Lansdown, the cost of this type of fraud rose 71% to reach Â£ 355.3million in the first half of this year. This is the first time that credit card fraud has been overcome.
Here I take a look at how push payment scams work, how much money has been stolen, and how you can protect yourself.
How do push payment scams work?
Push payment scams involve criminals tricking victims into giving them money directly. It’s potentially even more painful than traditional credit card fraud.
The largest increase in this type of fraud are identity theft scams. This is where criminals call by pretending to be from your bank or the police. These types of cases are up 129% from a year ago. Criminals could tell you that you were the victim of an attempted fraud. In order to protect you, they say you need to transfer your money to a new account, which turns out to be the fraudthe ster account, and your money is gone.
The fraudStereos will make their approaches even more realistic by âspoofingâ your bank number to make it look like a call is coming from the official number. They can also create fake websites that look convincing to steal your details so they can tailor the phone call to make you believe it is your bank.
Other types of push payment scams include criminals who send fake invoices pretending to be from a merchant or school or pretending to be a friend asking for money.
How much money did the criminals steal?
These criminals have stolen around Â£ 350million using these push payment scams over the past year.
In total, including credit card fraud, criminals have stolen a total of Â£ 753.9million from customers in the first half of this year. This is 30% more than the same period last year.
The number of push payment fraud incidents involving criminals posing as their victims’ bank or the police is up 129% from a year ago.
How can you protect yourself?
Here are some practical tips to protect yourself from fraudsters:
- Don’t be embarrassed. It’s okay to cut someone off if you think they’re a scammer. Don’t worry about being rude to a potential criminal!
- Real banks will never call you asking for money. If the person on the other end of the phone asks you to do so, you can be sure they are a scammer.
- If anything seems strange to you, phone and call the bank yourself. Make sure to use the number on the back of your bank card.
- When you call back your bank, first make sure you hear a dial tone. Criminals sometimes stay online, which means you haven’t really been logged out.
- Do not click on a website contained in an email requesting payment. Contact your bank directly first to make sure the email is legitimate.
- If you receive an invoice, contact the organization it claims to be from directly to verify that it is genuine.
What can you do if you’ve been scammed?
If you think you have been scammed, here are three things to do:
- Report it to Action Fraud, which is the national fraud reporting service. You can call 0300 123 2040 or report it online.
- Contact your bank immediately to let them know you’ve been scammed. You may be able to get a refund, depending on the circumstances.
- Change your passwords and PINs on your debit and credit cards so that scammers can’t use your information. This way you don’t risk further credit card fraud.
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