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app fraud

Understanding the Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud threat

In today’s digital age, where electronic transactions have become commonplace, the spectre of fraud continuously looms large. One such deceptive practice that has been increasingly plaguing the UK’s financial landscape is Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud.

At its core, APP fraud involves a fraudster deceiving individuals into sending them money. These payments are ‘authorised’ because the individual unknowingly gives consent, believing they’re making a legitimate transaction. The scammer often masquerades as a trusted figure or institution, such as a bank representative, solicitor, or even a family member, thereby manipulating the victim into transferring funds directly to a bank account controlled by the fraudster.

There are various ways in which APP fraud can manifest:

  1. Purchase Scams: A victim pays in advance for goods or services that don’t exist, usually facilitated through online marketplaces.
  2. Advance Fee Scams: A victim is convinced to pay a fee, believing they’ll receive a larger amount of money in return, but they never do.
  3. CEO Fraud: Impersonation of a senior executive or a trusted supplier, asking for an urgent fund transfer.

The consequences of APP fraud extend beyond financial losses. For many victims, especially those who lose significant sums, the emotional and psychological toll can be profound.

Combatting APP fraud requires collective vigilance. Banks and financial institutions in the UK have started to adopt more robust verification processes for new payee registrations, sending warning messages about potential scams, and offering better education for customers about these types of fraud.

The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator has also been pushing for more protections for victims, including potential reimbursement if they’ve taken reasonable care.

For individuals, it’s essential to remain sceptical of unsolicited requests for money, even if they appear to come from trusted sources. Always double-check payment details directly with the institution or individual in question, using contact details you’ve sourced independently.

In conclusion, while the digitisation of banking has offered unprecedented convenience, it also presents new avenues for deception. Awareness and education about APP fraud, combined with rigorous verification procedures, are our best defence against these malicious schemes.

Image by vicky gharat from Pixabay