Nationwide Building Society Launches Scam Checker Service

Nationwide Building Society Launches Scam Checker Service It Hopes Will Help Protect Customers From Fraud Tsunami

Nationwide Building Society is today launching a scam checker service that it hopes will further help protect customers from losing money to criminals, This is Money can reveal.

Britain’s largest health insurance fund says it hopes the move will help customers avoid falling victim to Authorized Push Payment scams, where customers transfer money directly to criminals after they become socially evolved.

This can often be from a scammer posing as a member of a bank’s fraud team and tricking the victim into making a payment to a ‘secure account’.

New service: Nationwide says anyone who gets the green light to make a payment that turns out to be a scam will be refunded in full

According to data from UK Finance, fraud losses rose 30 per cent in the first half of the year to more than £750 million.

The biggest growth in APP fraud losses came in the form of impersonation scams, which more than doubled to £129.3 million, largely due to criminals stealing from people while posing as police officers and bank staff, the industry association said.

Nationwide’s new service allows a customer to verify a payment they are concerned about, either at the branch or by calling a dedicated toll-free number.

This will be manned by a trained fraud team who will answer immediately, with Nationwide advising that the call should be picked up within minutes – time being often crucial in these cases.

The staff will talk to the customer about the nature of the payment and discuss if there are any issues before proceeding.

Our own data shows that talking to an employee before making a payment can help identify and stop up to two-thirds of scams per year.

Nationwide says anyone who falls victim to an APP scam after being given the go-ahead will be fully refunded under a new guarantee

However, it adds that if someone is warned against making a payment through the new service and he proceeds, or if he does not share the requested important information necessary to assess the payment, the guarantee will not apply. .

In these cases, it claims that refund of any APP scam will still be made on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the conditional fee model code, taking into account factors such as vulnerability and the nature of the scam.

Stuart Skinner, director of economic crime at Nationwide, told This is Money that the new service will work alongside existing fraud and scam prevention measures.

This includes checking that the name matches the details on a new payee account using the payee confirmation.

Customers will also still receive scam alerts and guidance when paying online or through the app.

Nationwide chief executive Joe Garner – who announced his departure last week – added: “Success is not just ensuring victims are compensated – but also preventing these crimes.

“We also call on the major tech, telecom and social media companies that are hosting these crimes to take greater responsibility to stop them. We need to work together better in the mutual interest of fighting this criminal activity.’

UK Finance believes the scale of the fraud is now so great that the problem is now a “national security threat” and said the banking sector cannot fight the problem alone.

Katy Worobec, the director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: ‘The banking and finance industry is investing billions in sophisticated systems to try and prevent fraud, but criminals are exploiting weaknesses outside the banks’ control to mislead customers. . to pay directly to them.

“We therefore call for concerted action and increased efforts by governments and other sectors to address what is now a threat to national security.”