The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published its latest edition of Ombudsman News.  With £775 million lost to financial fraud last year, this month’s edition focuses on financial fraud case studies and expert perspectives on scams and how to stop them.  The key items of interest are:

Losses from financial fraud

Losses from financial fraud for both businesses and their customers have increased significantly over recent years.  FOS notes it continues to see complaints involving a range of scams, some of which are detailed in this month’s edition.  In particular, FOS has seen a significant increase in cases where people have been tricked into making payments. 

Reported scam methods

The top five reported scam methods are:

  • upfront payment fees (29%)
  • fake services or invoices (26%)
  • goods not being received (9%)
  • vishing (7%)
  • subscription traps (7%)

Advice to customers for preventing fraud

FOS has provided some simple advice to customers with the aim of preventing fraud.  Examples include, advising customers that a bank will never ask them to transfer money to a ‘safe’ account and that a bank doesn’t need a PIN or password to stop a suspicious payment.

The FCA's priorities for preventing financial crime

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA explains how one of the FCA’s priorities is to prevent financial crime, including protecting consumers from unauthorised investment activity and financial fraud. Mark explains how the FCA uses both enforcement action and communications activity to help tackle financial fraud.

Q&A

Also in the month’s edition is a Q&A section.  This section provides some information for banks when accepting a customer’s power of attorney.