Targeted by online fraudsters? You’ll get a pop-up warning
Barclays customers are to be warned via pop-up messages that they may have been targeted by fraudsters when they make online payments that appear to be “suspicious or out of character”.
The banking giant says it has become the first in Britain to offer this sort of proactive fraud prevention service. Telegraph Money has repeatedly called on the high street banks to provide better protection for their customers, many of whom have been defrauded of tens of thousands of pounds.
If a Barclays customer makes a suspicious payment – for example, a large transfer to a new payee – they will be sent three questions designed to help them determine whether they could have fallen victim to scammers. They can then call the bank for immediate assistance.
Martyn James of Resolver, a complaints service, said the move was welcome but questioned why it had not been done sooner and why other banks were not following suit.
“Barclays should be applauded for leading the way on this but the fact remains that the banks have known about this sort of fraud for a long time and have been too quick to blame the consumer,” he said. “This is a very simple thing to do. The banks have still not addressed why it’s so easy for the criminals to transfer money out so quickly.
“No one has yet answered the question of how £80,000 can go into an account which has sat empty for a long time and then disappear within two minutes.”
Mr James said Barclays’ initiative would also do nothing to combat the many other types of fraud perpetrated on the British public, including “courier fraud” and other types of offline targeting.
In the first half of 2017 there were more than 5,000 cases of fraud reported every day in Britain, a total of 900,000.
Barclays’ research suggested that almost three quarters of frauds were never reported to the police as the victims felt too embarrassed. A third of British adults have fallen victim to a scam, with the average amount stolen being £893. Catherine McGrath, a director at Barclays, said the bank was aiming to make society “more resilient” to criminals.
The bank’s announcement came days after news surfaced of discussions over a 555 “fraud hotline” to help victims quickly report crimes to specialist fraud teams. Currently victims of fraud are advised to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.