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Financial firms blocked £1.4bn of fraud in 2017

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Banks and card firms blocked £1.4bn of unauthorised fraud last year, according to UK Finance.

The trade body says this equates to two-thirds of all such fraud being stopped.

Combined total unauthorised fraud losses from remote banking, cheques and payment cards fell 5 per cent in 2017 to £731.8m.

However, 2017 saw a 3 per cent rise in the frequency of unauthorised financial fraud, with 1,910,490 reported cases.

Remote banking fraud rose 14 per cent in 2017 to £156.1m, though banks blocked £261.4m of similar attempted scams last year.

However, the unauthorised figures exclude ‘authorised’ fraud where scammers trick consumers into transferring money.

Banks are not obliged to pay back consumers in this situation, leaving many out of pocket.

UK Finance says authorised push payment scams cost consumers £236m in 2017, the first time this data has been collected.

There were 43,875 reported push payment scams  in 2017, 88 per cent of which hit consumers. The rest were aimed at businesses.

Banks paid back £60.8m, just 26 per cent, of push payment scams.

UK Finance managing director of economic crime Katy Worobec says: “The finance industry is committed to playing its part – investing in advanced security systems to protect customers, introducing new standards on how banks respond to scam victims, and working with the Joint Fraud Taskforce to deter and disrupt criminals and better trace, freeze and return stolen funds.

“We are also supporting the Payment Systems Regulator on its complex work on authorised push payment scams, providing the secretariat for its new steering group. It’s a challenging timetable, but it is important that we get it right to stop financial crime and for the benefit of customers.”

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