Push Payment Scams - CEL Solicitors

What is authorised push payment (APP) fraud?

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud is one of the fastest growing types of scams around. It’s claimed more than £145 million was lost in the first half of 2020, which is 44% higher than in the same period in 2019.

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud, commonly known as bank transfer scams, happens when online fraudsters deceive individuals into sending them money. Because the victim believes the cybercriminal is genuine, they authorise the handover of cash (often via Faster Payment services whereby the transfer is instant). It is only later that victims realise they’ve been scammed into making a bogus bank transfer.

Who can be targeted by this type of online fraud?

Anyone can become the victim of a bank transfer scam. The criminals are sophisticated and may hack into email, and other systems, in order to set up their targets. An original data breach therefore can often be the source of the scam. This gives the criminals the means to create an authentic looking phishing email and subsequent credibility with the individual or business to set up the phishing scam.

How are people scammed into making a bogus bank transfer?

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following scenarios:

  • Sending payments for services via bank transfer only to discover the email came from online scammers pretending to be the service provider e.g. tradespeople, accountants, financial advisors etc.
  • Paying fake invoices to fraudsters who’ve obtained supplier information that enables them to convince you the bank account details have changed, replacing legitimate suppliers’ details with their own.
  • Transferred large deposits direct to criminals’ bank accounts e.g. house deposits whereby the cyber criminals have intercepted correspondence from the estate agents or solicitors and created realistic phishing emails requesting the transfer of funds.

Can I make an authorised push payment fraud (APP) claim?

new industry code of good practice to protect people from APP scams came into force in May 2019, stating that blameless victims of these scams ‘should’ be refunded. In fact, your bank should only refuse to reimburse stolen funds if you have shown a significant level of carelessness.

In addition, a large portion of these cyberattacks happen because the necessary security processes were not in place. If your bank (or other organisation) is shown to have been negligent in protecting your data, you may also be entitled to compensation.

Areas of negligence include the bank (or organisation):

  • Failing to undertake proper checks on transactions to new accounts
  • Not keeping their internal communications systems secure (telephone / email etc.)
  • Failing to abort transfers of freeze accounts once informed of potential fraud activity
  • Inadequate checks on unusually large transactions
  • Data breaches in their internal security systems allowing fraudsters to easily access them and commit fraud

If a bank refuses to compensate you for your losses, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman service.

If you are not sure whether you have a valid claim, our expert team at CEL Solicitors can check whether your data has been misused or mishandled and advise you on the best course of action.

Why choose CEL Solicitors for your push payment claim?

CEL Solicitors are experts in civil litigation with a specialist team dedicated to authorised push payment fraud and bank transfer scams. This type of fraud is a serious crime with far reaching implications for its victims.

We understand that, in addition to financial loss, those affected often experience significant distress as well as loss of privacy. Frustratingly, in many push payment scams, banks are often reluctant to compensate individuals who have inadvertently transferred the funds making the victims feel like there is no help available. However, if you have been a victim of this type of cybercrime we can help you recover your financial losses (possibly with interest) as well as compensation for the distress suffered.

At CEL Solicitors, we have an experienced team of solicitors dedicated to helping people claim compensation for online fraud caused by an organisation’s negligent handling of their data. We can help you claim for your emotional distress, loss of privacy and any financial losses.

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