Campaigning group Which? is calling on banks to refund victims of computer takeover scams, with new figures from Action Fraud showing £16 million was defrauded from consumers using this technique last year.
The consumer champion says it has heard from people who have lost thousands of pounds to this convincing scam where the perpetrators phone up pretending to be tech support from a reputable firm such as Microsoft or BT.
The fraudsters then attempt to persuade victims to install remote access software - which is used by many legitimate IT workers - that allows them to steal money and personal details.
In the last twelve months, Action Fraud says that it has received 14,893 computer software service fraud reports, with reported losses reaching around £16.5 million over that period.
Which? is demanding that banks refund more customers who fall victim, having heard of a number of cases where people have been denied reimbursement due to banks claiming that they either authorised the payments or had been grossly negligent.
Which? is calling on the government to legislate to enable the current voluntary code on bank transfer scams to be replaced with a new statutory code of practice. This should include clear standards for all payment providers involved in transferring money between accounts.
Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, says: “Millions of pounds are lost to computer takeover scams every year, with potentially devastating consequences for victims who lose life-changing sums of money to these callous fraudsters.
“Which? is calling on banks to reimburse all blameless customers who fall victim to these scams and for the government to introduce legislation to ensure a new statutory code of practice can be created, which would include clear standards and protections for victims."