New Visa research reveals the impact of fraud on consumers
Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud is rife across the UK, with 1 in 3 consumers falling victim and over half (53%) saying it’s getting harder to spot the signs.1
APP fraud occurs when someone is tricked into transferring money to a fraudster posing as a genuine payee. Total losses due to APP scams exceeded £239 million in the first half of 2023 according to UK Finance, and 1 in 3 of those surveyed by Visa reported having fallen victim to APP fraud.
The impact of scams
Visa’s latest whitepaper, ‘The Impact of APP Scams’, explores the victim experience and demonstrates the impact APP fraud can have on money management, financial confidence, and personal wellbeing.
The research found that whilst nearly three fifths of UK consumers (58%) are confident in managing their finances, falling victim to an APP scam can change money management habits. Almost a fifth (19%) of those surveyed that have fallen victim to an APP scam say that the scam has decreased their confidence in digital banking, and more than a third (35%) say it had a negative impact on their openness to paying new payees.
In addition, 1 in 3 of those surveyed reported that their mental health suffered as a result of APP fraud, and almost half (45%) feel at risk of falling for the scam again.
We are calling for cross-industry collaboration to fight fraud, with an increased focus on prevention measures – stopping the money leaving victims’ bank accounts and ending up in the hands of criminals.
Fraud Prevention tips and advice
To help consumers’ financial confidence, we are offering tips and advice for preventing fraud and what to do you if you think you’ve fallen victim.
- Validate they are who they say they are – it can be hard to tell the difference between legitimate organisation and sophisticated scammers. If you are unsure, you can check by using a different form of communication to the one they have used to reach you. For example, if you get a text asking for bank information, try phoning the company directly to check if it’s a true request.
- Be wary of unexpected contact – cold calls or unexpected emails should raise your suspicions. Remember, it is highly unusual for legitimate organisations to ask for sensitive information or personal details with no prior warning so don’t respond without confirming validity.
- Stop and think – always take the time to consider whether a payee is genuine. Don’t feel pressured to rush a payment, as a legitimate organisation will not put pressure on you to rush. If you’re unsure, talk it through with someone you trust. They may have received a similar message and might be able to help advise on the best course of action.
And if you do fall for a scam, Visa recommends the steps you can take to regain your confidence
- Recognise that you are not alone – unfortunately, it is not uncommon to fall victim to APP scams. Talking about your experiences with friends and family can help alleviate feelings of guilt and encourage you to rebuild your confidence.
- Reach out for support and advice – please contact your bank if you think you might have fallen victim to APP fraud. They will be able to provide expert help and advice, and are working round the clock on fraud prevention. In addition, resources such as Action Fraud and Victim Support can provide help after crime. These organisations give free and confidential support and are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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1 Research commissioned by Visa Europe and conducted by Mintel which surveyed over 2000 UK consumers aged 18+ and above, between 28 April 2023 and 12 May 2023.