I’ve fallen victim to an APP scam, what should I do?

If you have fallen victim to an APP scam, you should contact your bank immediately to report it. It is important to do this as soon as possible, as your bank may still be able to stop the transaction or trace the money.

If your bank is a signatory to the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) Code, it should begin the process to investigate your case and look at reimbursing you for your loss, as long as you acted appropriately. Your bank must assess your case under the Code and give you a decision on reimbursement; it should also provide you with its reasoning.

Even if your bank isn’t a signatory to the CRM Code, you should still report any fraud to your bank as soon as you discover it. Your bank may have other policies in place to assist you.

My bank has declined to reimburse the money I’ve lost to an APP scam – what should I do?

If you’re unhappy with your bank’s assessment of your case under the CRM Code, you can lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman will then assess your complaint and make a decision.

Even if your bank isn’t a Code signatory, you can still lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman if you’re unhappy with how any of the banks involved in the scam have acted.

The Payment Systems Regulator does not consider complaints under the Code. We are the independent regulator of payment systems themselves, and adjudicating on the Code is not within our remit.

Who else can help me?

If you believe that any of the institutions involved have not conducted themselves appropriately according to their obligations under any relevant legislation, you may wish to contact the Financial Conduct Authority.

You can report the fraud to Action Fraud, who will provide you with a crime reference number and will send your report to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NCIB) for assessment. Please note, Police Scotland have not signed up to the Action Fraud process; if you are in Scotland you should follow the guidance provided on the Police Scotland website.

Victim Support can provide help after crime; it gives free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Citizens Advice can provide support and advice on what further steps to take if you have been a victim of fraud.

What is Confirmation of Payee?

The PSR directed members of the UK’s six largest banking groups to implement Confirmation of Payee to help prevent losses due to accidentally misdirected payments and certain types of APP fraud. In July 2020, we confirmed widespread implementation of CoP by those banks.

We have consistently considered the widespread adoption of CoP in UK payments to be a key priority. In February 2022 we issued a Direction to ensure the transition of CoP to a single technical environment (phase 2), allowing more banks to offer the vital service. Following our May 2022 consultation, we also directed around 400 more financial firms to provide CoP. This will see nearly all transactions made via Faster Payments (FPS) and CHAPS covered by CoP by October 2024.  

We will monitor how firms implement the system and will step in where necessary. 

Customers should contact their banks with any questions on how CoP works or any issues with CoP when making a payment. If no resolution is offered by the bank, or there are significant issues impacting the CoP service, customers should contact Pay.UK who is responsible for maintaining the rules and standards for CoP. The PSR does not develop the rules, technical standards of operating guidance for CoP.

You can contact the PSR if you believe that the directed banks are not complying with their obligations under the Direction to implement CoP.

We recommend contacting your provider to check if this service is offered.

How does Confirmation of Payee affect me? I’m making payments on my account but Confirmation of Payee hasn’t come up?

Confirmation of Payee checks whether the name matches the account details before you make a new Faster Payments or CHAPS payment.

If you’re paying someone who is already set up as a payee on your bank account (and you are not changing the payee details), you won’t see any difference. Confirmation of Payee is currently offered by members of the UK’s six largest banking groups, as directed by the PSR in 2019, and other institutions who have voluntarily put this system in place.

When setting up a new payee or amending an existing payee’s details, you will be asked to enter the sort code, account number and the name of the person you’re paying. Confirmation of Payee will then confirm whether there is:

  • A match: details provided match the account, proceed with payment
  • A close match: check the details again or contact the person you’re trying to pay
  • No match: possible fraudulent transaction; check the details again or contact the payee before proceeding

There may be some circumstances when you are unable to do a Confirmation of Payee check, for instance because the payee’s account is not available through Confirmation of Payee, whether temporarily or otherwise. You’ll still be able to make the payment but should exercise more caution when sending money to a new payee.