APP scams can cause significant harm to consumers. Every year thousands of people are tricked into sending money to fraudsters in Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams with many losing life changing amounts of money. The number and cost of these scams is significant and increasing. The PSR is setting out ways to better protect people from falling victim to these scams.
Date Published: 18 November 2021 Closing Date: 14 January 2022
Why we are publishing this document
APP scams, when fraudsters trick people into transferring money to them for example by posing as a legitimate payee or constructing fraudulent reasons for a payment, are a significant and growing problem.
The scammers are clever, organised criminals and people have lost life-changing sums of money. In the first half of 2021, losses due to APP scams totalled £355 million (although this is likely to be an underestimate, due to under reporting of APP scams), overtaking card fraud losses for the first time.
We want to significantly reduce APP scam losses incurred by payment system users, by preventing APP scams happening in the first place and, where this is not possible, to ensure that victims who have acted appropriately have their money returned. This is essential to ensure that customers are sufficiently protected when using the UK’s payment systems.
What this document contains
This publication sets out how we’re consulting on steps to improve protection against authorised push payment scams, by developing on our proposals based on the input received to our call for views published in February 2021.
This latest consultation proposes:
- Publication of fraud data by banks: require the major PSPs in the 12 largest banking groups in Great Britain and 2 largest banks in Northern Ireland outside those banking groups to publish data on their performance in relation to APP scams, and reimbursement levels for victims
- Improve scam prevention: task industry to improve intelligence sharing, to improve detection and prevention of APP scams
- Reimbursing victims: there should be mandatory reimbursement for victims of scams who have done nothing wrong. While there could currently be challenges with making reimbursement mandatory, we set out two ways of achieving this so that, when the laws are changed, we can act quickly as necessary to bring about the right outcomes.
In addition to those steps, the PSR will consider what further action it could take using its existing powers in the new year. We know that PSPs need to improve outcomes for customers further and will be exploring how we can facilitate industry coordination and initiatives to address this significant problem urgently.
Who should read this document
This document is relevant to the payments industry, consumer groups and PSPs, particularly those already involved in our work on APP scams.
What happens next
The consultation is open until 5pm on 14 January 2022. You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at:
APP scams team
Payment Systems Regulator
12 Endeavour Square
We will then consider all the responses we receive to help shape our response and next steps.