HSBC issues scam warning as customers lose £14,000 to fraudsters

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Notably, the bank is sounding the alarm about the hike in the number of investment scams which has seen customers lose around £14,000. This example of fraud involves customers being convinced to purchase fake bonds or cryptocurrency. Investment scams are leading to the biggest losses for its customers than any other type of fraud, according to HSBC.

Usually criminals begin an investment scam with a message or calling out of the blue about an opportunity that is “too good to miss”.

Fraudsters will contact their victims for months or sometimes years to get as much money from them as possible.

The bank is receiving reports of scams that involve trading in genuine companies however they are being carried out through a fraudulent intermediary.

Victims will be shown their investments or returns through an app or website by them but will eventually lose contact with the intermediary.

READ MORE: State pensioners may be able to increase sum by up to £14.75 weekly

Outside of investment scams, HSBC is also alerting its customers to other examples of fraud which are losing people thousands of pounds.

These include purchase scams which involve people being tricked into paying in advance for a product or service that is never received.

Furthermore, customers are falling for impersonation scams which are seeing criminals pretend to a credible organisation, such as a bank or retailer, to convince people into parting with their cash or personal information.

David Callington, HSBC UK’s head of fraud, shared what the bank is doing to warn its customers about these scams.

 

Mr Callington said: “We are able to give real-time warnings through push notifications, information and education, to help more people protect themselves and their hard-earned money from these criminals.”

The scam expert also outlined what people can look out for to determine whether they are being targeted by a fraudster.

He added: “HSBC UK will never ask you to move money to a safe account or disclose your one time passcode.

“Likewise we would never ask you to delete your mobile banking app. If someone asks you to do any of these things, hang up right away, it’s a scam.”

 READ MORE: ‘Game over!’ Woman, 42, watches as hackers steal £10,000 in attack

On the rise in investment scams, he also warned that people should be aware of the legitimacy of any companies or investment firms that advertise their services.

“With the cost of living sky-high, it’s no surprise people are lured in by schemes promising low risk for high returns,” Mr Callington said.

“The general rule is that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“Customers can check if a company is authorised via the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website – if it’s not regulated we wouldn’t recommend investing.”

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, noted the “increasing sophistication” of scam operations which means consumers are at greater risk than ever before.

Ms Concha explained: “Every day, consumers are being targeted by fraudsters who are relentless in their attempts to steal money and personal information – with devastating consequences for victims.

“The increasing sophistication of bank transfer scams leaves all of us at risk, yet consumers continue to face reimbursement lotteries depending on who they bank with.

“Now that the Government has introduced legislation to enable mandatory APP reimbursement for victims, the Payment Systems Regulator must be ready to ensure that firms are treating customers fairly and consistently, with tough enforcement action against those who break the rules.”

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