Customers of Barclays are to be warned through pop-up messages that they may have been targeted by scammers when they make online payments that seem to be “suspicious or out of character.”
The banking giant says that the company has become the first in Britain to offer this kind of proactive fraud prevention service. Telegraph Money has repeatedly asked the high street banks to give better protection for their customers, many of whom have already been a victim of fraud.
If a customer of Barclays makes a suspicious payment – for example, a huge transfer to a new payee – three questions will be sent to them. These questions are intended to help them determine whether they could have become victim to scammers. They can then call the bank for urgent assistance.
Martyn James of the complaints service, Resolver, said that the move was welcome. However, he questioned why the said move had not been performed sooner and why other banks were not providing this service.
“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,” said James. “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.”
James said that the initiative of Barclays’ would also do nothing to prevent the many other types of fraud that are perpetrated on the British public such “courier fraud,” and other types of offline targeting.
During the first half of the year, there were over 5,000 cases of fraud that were reported every day in Britain or a total of 900,000.
A research of Barclays suggested that nearly three quarters of frauds were not reported to the police as the victims felt too ashamed. A third of British adults have been a victim of a scam. The average amount that has been stolen is £893.
A director at Barclays, Catherine McGrath, said that the bank was striving to make society “more resilient” to criminals.
The announcement of the bank came days after news of discussions regarding a 555 “fraud hotline” surfaced to assist victims to report crimes to specialists fraud teams promptly. Victims of fraud are encouraged to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.