VICTORIA BISCHOFF: Alla fine! Banks are finally being forced to come clean over fraud refunds
Alla fine! Banks are finally being forced to come clean over fraud refunds.
Even better, the existing voluntary code of conduct that requires firms to repay blameless scam victims will be made mandatory by law.
It is a major victory for the Mail’s Stop the Bank Scammers campaign, and means those High Street giants intent on wriggling out of doing the right thing by their customers will soon have nowhere to hide.
Refund ruling: The existing voluntary code of conduct that requires firms to repay blameless scam victims will be made mandatory by law
It’s just a shame it has taken so long to get here.
We’ve known for years that the fraud refund scheme is not working. Only yesterday, the Financial Ombudsman revealed that complaints about ‘authorised fraud’ — where crooks trick customers into transferring money — soared by 30% between July and September. Six in ten of these cases were upheld in favour of the customer.
This proves that when it comes to dealing with fraud, banks are still getting it wrong far too often. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, since many customers do not take their complaints to the Ombudsman.
This might be because they don’t know they can, are too ashamed, or simply because their bank has done such a good job of making them think they are to blame.
Infatti, official fraud data shows that less than half of scam victims are repaid. And over a three-month period, one unnamed bank issued refunds in just 1 pc of cases.
With scammers becoming ever more sophisticated, this is unacceptable. Fraud has spiralled out of control since the Covid crisis began, with criminals stealing a devastating £4 million every day in the first half of the year.
And with Christmas shopping events such as Black Friday on the horizon, which serve up easy prey for online crooks, there is no chance of any let-up.
Under new proposals laid out by the payments watchdog last week, major firms will be made to publish data every six months, spelling out exactly what proportion of scam victims are left out of pocket — and face fines if they do not treat their customers fairly.
They will also have to declare how many fraudulent payments are sent and received.
This is exactly what is needed to force banks to take fraud more seriously. As we have reported time and again, too many suspicious transactions are still allowed to go through unchallenged.
Making banks responsible for repaying these losses is the only way to truly incentivise them to step up security checks.
Ovviamente, other organisations urgently need to ramp up their efforts, too — not least internet giants such as Google and Facebook, which routinely allow fraudsters to advertise scams online.
But banks are on the front line in the fight against fraud and in charge of safeguarding our cash.
By naming and shaming those who routinely let down their customers, they will have no choice but to do better. If only to protect their own bottom line.
Guancia in fiore!
Over just six weeks I’ve received no fewer than 15 emails from flower delivery firm Bloom & Selvaggio. Be it autumn, Halloween, Christmas or World Kindness Day (whatever that is), there is no tenuous hook the company hasn’t used to market its wares.
But what has irritated me most is that the discount codes offered as a thank-you for being such a loyal customer are often only valid for 24 ore.
And if there is one thing I hate, it’s being pressured into making a quick purchase for fear of missing out on a bargain.
So you can imagine how I feel about Black Friday: an entire day (or week, as it is increasingly) dedicated to enticing shoppers to spend huge sums on a whim.
As we rapporto, these supposed ‘cut-price’ deals are often nonsense, with many retailers artificially inflating prices in the run-up so items look cheaper on the day.
This means that unless you have determinedly tracked the price of your desired item over the year, you have no way of knowing if you really are getting a good deal.
Shopping doesn’t need to be this stressful. Call me a party-pooper, but I’ll be steering well clear.