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Will all victims of Authorised Push Payment Fraud get their money back?

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A recent announcement from the Government sets out plans to update legislation forcing banks to pay back victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud.

What is APP fraud?
APP Fraud has been on the rise in recent years. This is where a scammer, usually online, gains a victim’s confidence over a period of time or appears to be someone they trust (such as a lawyer, family member, romantic connection, or business associate), then uses manipulation and deception to trick the victim into sending sums of money, often on an urgent or regular basis, from their bank account.

In response to the rapid rise of cybercrime, the Government has recently said that it will update legislation to force banks to reimburse victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud.

Until now, banks have been encouraged to reimburse the victims of online fraud through the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code, but this is a voluntary scheme and not guaranteed across all institutions. As a result, some victims of APP fraud never see their money again.

Commenting on the current framework, the Government announcement states:

“reimbursement to victims of APP scams remains inconsistent, with many victims continuing to suffer losses without reimbursement. This is in part because some firms have not made voluntary commitments to reimburse victims of APP scams, but also because even amongst firms who have made voluntary reimbursement commitments, there are disparities in how firms interpret their obligations.”

An amendment to the legislation would see the Payment Systems Regulator, the watchdog that oversees the fast-evolving cash machine, money transfer and contactless payment industry, being given statutory powers to make banks and other payment service providers, including the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal, payback fraud victims.

Sarah Spruce, who heads up the APP Fraud Claims team at TLW Solicitors said:

“Mandatory reimbursement will reassure the public that the banking industry takes APP fraud seriously. Hundreds of millions of pounds are stolen every year and victims of fraud often suffer embarrassment as well as financial loss. Fraud victims are not just individuals; businesses can be affected too. Our team help victims of romance scams, cryptocurrency investment, impersonation and invoicing scams.”

It is extremely important to get in touch with the police and your bank. You can also report any suspected scamming activity to Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. If you have lost money, that may lead to a criminal investigation by the police.

If criminal proceedings are taken and there is a successful conviction, then the Court can award compensation. However, it can sometimes be difficult to trace the fraudster, particularly if they are abroad, or they may no longer have any assets with which to pay any compensation.

As well as criminal proceedings, you may have the basis of a complaint and claim against your bank if you feel that they did not do enough to protect your account.

TLW Solicitors has a dedicated team of specialists working on APP fraud cases. Where there is a dispute between a bank and a customer who has lost out to a scam, a complaint can be made to the Financial Ombudsman Service. FOS will examine the circumstances of the fraud and the bank’s response.

The specialist team at TLW Solicitors has many years of experience in successfully dealing with complaints to FOS, even where they have initially been rejected. We understand the time limits to be followed, the information needed and the claims and appeals processes.

It will cost you nothing to make an enquiry and for our team to review your potential case. We work on a no-win-no-fee basis, meaning that, if we take on your case and it is unsuccessful, we will not charge for the time we have spent.

If you, your friend or a relative has been conned into making payments to online cyber fraudsters, please get in touch with our specialist Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud team for a confidential, no-obligation discussion.

You can call us on 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete the Callback form.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible as strict time limits can apply.

Meet Our Team

Meet Sarah, who heads up our experienced Fraud and Scam Claims team.

Sarah and her colleagues are on hand to help with your claim.

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