Three quarters of RBS scam victims see money lost forever



rbs_logoEdinburgh-based banking giant Royal Bank of Scotland has disclosed new figures that show 70 per cent of its customers who fall victim to fraud scammers never see a penny of their money again.

Figures from the still 73 per cent state-owned lender show that from January to September this year almost 5,000 of the bank’s customers fell victim to various scams - at a total cost of more than £25m.

The bank has reported that the average cost of falling for a scam has gone up by 40 per cent since 2014, to more than £13,000.

RBS said the rate at which people are falling victim to frauds is on the increase with 900 cases reported in the third week of October alone - compared with 739 for the whole of September.

Terry Lawson, head of fraud at RBS told the BBC: “These figures show that the threat of scams is growing.

“The means by which fraudsters trick individuals into parting with their money is becoming more sophisticated, but it always ultimately depends on the individual transferring money out of their account.

“We would never contact a customer asking them to transfer money. If a customer of any bank is contacted by someone asking them to do this they should simply end the conversation and report the matter to the police.”

Conservative MP Mark Garnier, a member of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said: “It is interesting that overall crime is going down, but we still clearly don’t know what is happening with crime online.”

Customers of Natwest, part of the RBS Group, who have been scammed are most frequently caught out by “vishing” - verbal phishing - where they are tricked into giving their account details during a telephone call.

Some customers are also increasingly falling victim to so-called romance scams, where the victim is befriended online and then conned into handing over money.

Mr Garnier added: “There is obviously a huge crime wave that isn’t being reported, either people aren’t aware, or are embarrassed to report it.”

Terry Lawson
Terry Lawson

Terry Lawson, head of fraud at RBS said: “These figures show that the threat of scams is growing.

“The means by which fraudsters trick individuals into parting with their money is becoming more sophisticated, but it always ultimately depends on the individual transferring money out of their account.

“We would never contact a customer asking them to transfer money. If a customer of any bank is contacted by someone asking them to do this they should simply end the conversation and report the matter to the police.”