- A quarter of current account holders have fallen victim to fraud, with fraudsters taking an average of £828
- One in five victims of current account fraud remain out of pocket following their bank’s investigation
- One in five victims blame their bank for not preventing the incident or failing to provide enough information for them to stop the attack
- With over half (55%) being used to hold savings, current accounts are increasingly desirable targets for fraudsters
- Two-fifths of current account holders think they are now most likely to be a victim of current account fraud than any other kind of crime
- As part of its #ScamAware campaign, com is calling on banks to introduce a 24-hour cooling off period when a consumer transfers money over a pre-set amount to a new account.
A quarter of current account holders have been victims of fraudulent activity, with the average scam stealing £828. According to research from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison site and switching service.
Of those falling victim to current account fraud, one in five remain out of pocket following the bank’s investigation into the scam. While one in five believe the blame lies with their banks for failing to prevent the incident or not offering enough advice for customers to stop the attack themselves.
With over half (55%) of current account holders using their account to hold hard earned savings, current accounts are increasingly becoming more desirable targets for fraudsters. In fact, two-fifths of current account holders think they are more likely to suffer current account fraud than any other kind of crime.
The rapid rise in sophisticated fraud – a scam is now committed in the UK every 15 seconds – is leaving the majority of victims (59%) feeling increasingly helpless, as they believe there is nothing they could do to prevent it taking place.
Online banking fraud increased by nearly two-thirds (64%) last year, making it the fastest growing type of fraud. One of the biggest challenges relating to online banking fraud is that it can be difficult to trace the money once the scam has been committed, as criminals can quickly transfer it to another account straight away, making it hard to trace and reclaim.
To help make it more difficult for fraudsters, uSwitch.com is calling for banks to bring in a 24-hour cooling-off period to stop users sending large sums to a newly set-up payee.
Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Current accounts, with their switching incentives and higher interest rates, have become increasingly popular sanctuaries for our savings – making them rich pickings for fraudsters.
“This puts a greater responsibility on banks to stay abreast of the latest tricks that fraudsters use to enable them to give their customers the right advice to protect themselves as well as putting processes in place which limit the chance of a fraudster escaping with any of the stolen cash.
“It is important that consumers stay vigilant and keep their eyes peeled for any suspicious activity. While there are now a high number of sophisticated scams which many of us would fall for, it’s vital to act fast if you do spot something is wrong to limit the damage done. If you have been the victim of fraud, contact your bank straight away – quick thinking could make all the difference.”
Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.
For further advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and how to spot any tell-tale signs of criminal activity, you can visit www.uswitch.com/banking/scam-aware/.
uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.
Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.
Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.
uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.
uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.
uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.