People tricked into sending their life savings to fraudsters could see their money reimbursed from today, as a new voluntary code comes into effect. Most major banks have signed up to the code, but a few are yet to do so.
In the last year alone, victims have lost a total of £354m – that’s approximately £674 every minute – to scammers in bank transfer scams, with most of it stolen from personal accounts.
But, thanks to our campaigning, a new code promising refunds for victims of these scams comes into effect today.
Earlier this year, the banking industry introduced a new voluntary code that would offer increased protection from scammers, including reimbursement to blameless victims. The move came two years after Which? launched a super-complaint to push banks and regulators to better protect people who lose money to bank transfer scams.
This new code comes into effect today, but not everyone will be protected as some banks have not signed up.
Gareth Shaw, head of Money at Which?, said:
‘Three years after Which? launched a super-complaint highlighting the devastating impact of bank transfer fraud, it’s good that consumers are finally getting greater protections and many should be spared from losing life-changing sums of money.
‘The code will be judged a success if it halts this worsening crime and results in all blameless victims being fairly and swiftly reimbursed – and we want to see all remaining banks signing up as a bare minimum to reassure their customers that they will be protected.
‘Banks must now ensure vital name check security measures are introduced on time and quickly agree long-term funding plans for all reimbursements – as there can never be a return to the dark days of banks turning away the victims of this ruinous crime.’
Read more about the new scam refunds code and find out if your bank has signed up.