Banks delay internet fraud check, so take care with online payments
23 Mar 2020

A crucial bank fraud security measure due to be introduced within weeks has been delayed because of the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Just as millions of people are expected to avoid branches and use online services, banks have postponed their plans for an extra layer of protection.

At the moment, so-called faster payments do not require the person sending the money to insert the correct name of the person receiving it.

Such transfers are processed purely using the sort code and account number. This helps scammers to carry out “push-payment” fraud, where victims transfer money to accounts they believe are legitimate. They may even believe the fake accounts are in their own name.

Banks including Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds and RBS, and Nationwide Building Society, were told by the Payment Systems Regulator to fix the flaw in online payments by March 31.

However, the regulator has now agreed to push back the deadline for confirmation of payee by three months.

This means that anyone who uses online banking will continue to be at greater risk of sending money to the wrong person.

Action Fraud, the national reporting body for fraud and cybercrime, said there had been 105 reports of scams since the start of last month alone, with total losses of nearly £970,000.

By Kate Palmer, The Sunday Times, 22 March 2020

Read more at The Times

Photo: Elliott Brown [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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