Push payment fraud complaints rise

Title: Push Payment Fraud Complaints on the Rise: How to Protect Yourself


Push payment fraud, also known as authorized push payment (APP) fraud, is a type of scam that involves tricking individuals or businesses into authorizing the transfer of funds to fraudsters. This method of fraudulent activity has been on the rise, with an increasing number of complaints being reported. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this surge, discuss common tactics employed by scammers, and provide tips on how to protect yourself from falling victim to push payment fraud.

The Soaring Statistics:

According to recent reports, complaints related to push payment fraud have been steadily rising. In the UK alone, the number of cases reported to banks in the first half of 2021 increased by a staggering 50% compared to the previous year. This highlights the escalating threat posed by scammers who are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approaches.

Crucial Factors Driving the Surge:

Several factors contribute to the surge in push payment fraud complaints:

1. Advancements in Technology: The digital revolution has made financial transactions quicker and more convenient, but it has also created opportunities for fraudsters. Advanced tactics, like spoofing emails or phone numbers, make it easier for scammers to deceive their victims.

2. COVID-19 Pandemic: The outbreak of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forced many individuals and businesses to rely heavily on online platforms for financial transactions. Scammers capitalized on this situation, taking advantage of the increased vulnerability and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic to maximize their fraudulent activities.

3. Lack of Legal Protection: In many jurisdictions, victims of push payment fraud have little to no legal rights to reclaim their money. This lack of legal protection often discourages individuals from pursuing a complaint, perpetuating the problem and emboldening the scammers.

Common Tactics Employed by Scammers:

Scammers employ a variety of tactics to deceive their victims. Some of the most common approaches include:

1. Impersonation: Fraudsters may pose as trusted individuals, such as bank representatives, government officials, or service providers, to gain the victim’s trust and manipulate them into authorizing payments.

2. Invoice Fraud: Scammers send fake invoices or bills, often appearing authentic, to trick individuals or businesses into making payments for products or services that were never rendered.

3. Romance Scams: Scammers build emotional connections with their victims through online dating platforms and then exploit their trust to extract money.

Protecting Yourself from Push Payment Fraud:

While the rise in push payment fraud complaints is concerning, individuals and businesses can take proactive measures to protect themselves:

1. Verify Requests: Always independently verify the authenticity of any payment requests, especially those made over the phone or by email. Avoid relying solely on the information provided by the requester.

2. Stay Informed: Stay updated on the latest scams and fraud methods. Cybersecurity organizations and financial institutions regularly issue alerts and advisories to keep customers informed about potential threats.

3. Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive a suspicious request for money or suspect that you have encountered a scam, report it immediately to your bank or local law enforcement agency. Timely reporting can minimize potential losses and aid in catching the perpetrators.


As push payment fraud complaints continue to rise, it is crucial to stay vigilant and informed about the tactics employed by scammers. By following the suggested protective measures, individuals and businesses can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. It is essential for banks and regulatory authorities to continue collaborating and implementing robust security measures to combat the growing menace of push payment fraud.

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