Regulator tells banks to stop victim-blaming
The increasing sophistication of bank scams means that customers who lose money to such schemes should not automatically be blamed, the Financial Ombudsman Service has said.
Caroline Wayman, Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “It’s not fair to automatically call a customer grossly negligent simply because they’ve fallen for a scam.
“That’s especially true in light of the sophisticated way criminals exploit banks’ security systems – and convince customers that their money is at risk.
“We often remind banks that they need to support what they’re saying with facts. And if they can’t do that, it’s likely we’ll tell them to cover the money their customer has lost.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for banking industry body, UK Finance, said: “Banks and building societies take the threat of fraud extremely seriously and invest millions in advanced fraud prevention systems to protect customers, stopping £2 out of every £3 of attempted fraud last year. But we know there is more to be done.
“Banks will always make every effort to help a customer recover any stolen funds and the industry has introduced new standards on how banks respond to scam victims.
“At the same time our Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign is giving people the knowledge they need to stay safe and we are working with the Joint Fraud Taskforce to deter and disrupt the criminals responsible for these scams.”
Fraudsters are increasingly deploying sophisticated techniques such as fake websites and emails to snare victims, regularly stealing tens of thousands of pounds in the process.