Scammers defrauded Brits out of £208m in first half of 2019 — just over £1m a day

SCAMMERS defrauded Brits out of £208million in the first half of this year — just over £1million a day.

The total included £147million from personal accounts and £61million from businesses.

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In the first half of 2019 there were 57,549 reported fraud cases[/caption]

And it is up from the first six months of 2018, when the total scammed was £148million.

The scam, where cash is transferred directly to the fraudster, is known as authorised push payment.

There were 57,549 reported APP fraud cases in the first half of 2019 — a 69 per cent increase on the same period last year.

But UK Finance, which released the figures, said last year’s stats are not directly comparable to the latest half-year total.

How to protect yourself from fraudsters

ACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:

  • 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.

They said that was partly because two additional banks started reporting the data to them from early 2019.

Investment scams accounted for the biggest personal account losses, at £41million, or more than £12,200 per case.

But purchase scams, where people pay up front for goods they never receive, account for two-thirds of the total number of APP fraud cases.

Jenny Ross, of Which? called the rise of transfer fraud “alarming”.

Banks have returned £39.3million of 2019’s losses to date.



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