Fos sees 30 per cent rise in 'authorised' scam complaints

Fos sees 30 per cent rise in 'authorised' scam complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service has reported a 30 per cent increase in complaints about “authorised” scams in the second quarter of this financial year.

The disputes body received a total of 4,488 complaints about fraud and scams from July to September 2021 and upheld over 60 per cent in the consumers’ favour. 

Of these, 2,243 complaints were about “authorised” scams, up markedly on the 1,725 received in July to September 2020.

The vast majority of “authorised” scam complaints are authorised push payments (APP) where the victim is tricked into making bank transfers to an account posing as a legitimate payee. 

Alongside this, the Fos also saw disputes about whether or not the consumer authorised a payment or withdrawal with their bank card.

The body said the increase in the number of people falling victim to scams reflected increased spending online and more fraudster activity during the pandemic.

Nausicaa Delfas, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Fos, said: “It’s a real concern that we are continuing to see an increase in scam complaints, particularly when shopping online. 

“With the festive period approaching, it’s vital that people are extra vigilant with their finances. If people feel they have not been treated fairly by their banks, we are here to help.”

Almost three quarters of the “authorised” scam complaints the Fos received were about consumers not receiving the goods or services they’ve ordered, where a scammer has tricked a consumer to move their money to a ‘safe account’ by telling them their bank account has been compromised, and investment scams.

Overall, Fos said it is continuing to uphold around three quarters of “authorised” scam complaints in the consumers’ favour.

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