Currently, if you unwittingly transfer cash to a fraudster – known as an Authorised Push Payment (APP) – you'll only be able to complain about the scam to your bank.
But from 31 January, 2019, victims will be able to take their gripe to the bank or building society that receives the transfer.
Victims will also be able to refer these complaints to the free Financial Ombudsman Service if they're not happy with the outcome from the bank.
Over £145million was lost in bank transfer scams in the first half of this year but only £31million refunded to customers, figures from UK Finance reveal.
Last year, there were 43,875 cases of APP fraud with total losses of £236million.
How to protect yourself from fraudsters
- 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.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said: “The FCA takes APP fraud and the harm it causes to consumers very seriously.
"Now victims of APP fraud can make a complaint to the payment service provider receiving their payment and if they’re not satisfied with the outcome, can refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.”
Under further new rules currently being drawn up, banks could force customers to pay fees or take out insurance to pay for bank transfer fraud.
Jenni Allen, managing director at Which? Money – which submitted a super-complaint about APP fraud to the regulator – said: "People are losing life-changing sums to bank transfer scams every day, so the new code to protect victims from this type of crime must be urgently introduced by all banks.
"We must also now see an agreement reached with the banks to ensure victims are properly reimbursed when they have fallen victim to this type of fraud through no fault of their own."
The Sun has revealed how customers have been conned and tricked out of large amounts of cash, 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.
Plus, here's why using the hotel wifi to check your bank account could actually be putting your cash at risk.
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