The Financial Ombudsman Service has noted a “dramatic rise” in complaints by consumers concerning financial scams and fraud. With the hope of embuing safer financial habits and a reduction in these types of complaints, FOS reminds consumers to be careful, but also expects banks to respond fairly and effectively to customers’ complaints.

The statistics

The FOS has recorded a 66% increase in new fraud/scam-related complaints to its dispute resolution service. During the Q2 2020, FOS received a little over 3,000 complaints. In comparison, during the Q2 2021, consumers made over 5,000 complaints to FOS.

The most common report was authorised push payment fraud, where customers are contacted by fraudsters masquerading as financial institutions and convinced to transfer money to accounts controlled by scammers.

UK Finance (a trade group) reported that £754 million in total was stolen through fraud during the H1 2021, representing a 30% increase on the first six months of 2020. Push payment fraud losses totalled £355 million in the H1 2021, an increase of 71% since last year.

FOS also identified a growth in cryptocurrency related complaints, although it has not yet published figures on this emerging trend. UK Finance intelligence also suggests there has been a rise in cryptocurrency wallets being used as a vehicle to transfer stolen money out of the banking…

Read more…