When someone has money stolen from their bank account by scammers the banks can usually get away with blaming the individual and not pay compensation.
In some cases that is reasonable – if people make no attempt to check who they are transferring money to or why then it’s not the bank’s fault.
But scammers are increasingly sophisticated in these attacks and many people are caught out even after taking what they think are the right precautions.
In a recent case ‘Victor’ believed he was talking to Santander’s fraud department and gave the fraudsters the information they needed to access his account. The Financial Ombudsman believed he had acted reasonably and ordered Santander to repay the amount stolen – nearly £12,000.
If the bank refuses to pay after such a fraud – the victim has 6 months in which to complain to the Financial Ombudsman and there may be more such cases as people fight harder to make the banks pay up.
Of course, it is still the individual’s responsibility to act sensibly at all times and do their best to avoid fraud.
If you transfer money away without adequate consideration – that’s your fault and no-one else’s.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.
Santander launched ‘Scam Avoidance School’ (SAS) for over 60s at all 806 branches across the UK in 2018.
Their research shows 82% of over 60s want more to be done to help them avoid scammers – Age UK stats suggest that 53 per cent of people aged 65+ have been targeted.
Former Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge, Len Goodman, 73, became the first graduate of the Scam Avoidance School
Following research among the over 60s to understand what really worries them about scams and fraud, alongside input from Dr Paul Seager, Psychology Professor at Lancashire University, a bespoke lesson plan was created for Santander branch staff to deliver to tens of thousands of over 60s.
The lesson, which includes interactive activities and a handout to take away, covers the tricks scammers use to reel people in, how to spot email and text scams as well as covering contactless fraud and cashpoint fraud – areas that the research highlighted as being a real concern to Over 60s.
Two thirds of the Over 60s are worried about the threat of fraud and scams with 82 per cent thinking more should be done to educate them
More than 20% of Over 60s believe they have been approached more than 10 times by scammers in the last year
The average lost by Over 60s to scammers who had fallen victim was £401. Previous research from Santander revealed that older victims of scams will, on average, lose more than double that of younger age groups
While 95 % of Over 60s own a mobile phone and 96 per cent have a computer, around one in five avoid online banking for fear of being targeted by scammers
Among the 64 per cent of older people who are worried about the threat of scams, a range of factors were highlighted as making them particularly susceptible. The biggest of these were: being vulnerable because of illness or disability (74 per cent); being financially unaware (57 per cent) or simply being on their own (37 per cent).
Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Strategy at Santander’s UK, commented “We believe that education and public awareness is absolutely key to tackling what is currently one of the biggest threats to the security of people’s finances. We hope that with a little bit of scam-avoidance knowledge, our Over 60 pupils can feel empowered to stop scammers in their tracks.”
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