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Nationwide launches APP fraud scam checker service

Source: Nationwide

Nationwide Building Society is today announcing further support to help protect members from falling victim to Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, with the launch of a new Scam Checker Service designed to help prevent members from being scammed. It enables them to check a payment they are worried about either in branch or by calling a 24/7 freephone number (0800 030 4057). Colleagues will then talk with members about the nature of the payment and discuss if there are any concerns with proceeding.

Nationwide's colleagues are trained to spot the signs of economic crime and routinely stop members from falling victims to scams. Talking to members gives them time to stop and think before completing a payment and forms an essential part in educating members on the warning signs of economic crime. This intervention forms the basis of the Scam Checker Service. Nationwide’s data shows that speaking to members before they make a payment could help identify and stop up to two thirds (65%) of attempted scams each year.

Members who fall victim to an Authorised Push Payment (APP) scam after being given the go ahead to make the payment will be refunded in full under the Society’s new Scam Protection Promise1.

Members are also being encouraged to play their part in scam prevention. If through the Scam Checker Service someone is warned against making a payment and they proceed, or if they fail to share requested important information needed to assess the payment, then the Promise will not apply2. In these cases, any APP scam refund will be made on a case-by-case basis, in line with the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) code just as it is now, considering factors such as vulnerability and the nature of the scam.

Nationwide has worked hard to offer a promise that both provides a greater level of protection as well as offering a value-for-money service for its wider membership. Stopping more scams at the outset is hoped to prevent money getting into the hands of criminals and being used to fund organised crime. The Scam Protection Promise will also help stop members from experiencing the life-changing impact scams can have.

The new service will work alongside existing fraud and scam prevention measures. Members will still be able to check the name on a new payee account using Confirmation of Payee (CoP). They will also still receive appropriate scam warnings and guidance when they make payments online or via our App, prompting them to stop and think before proceeding with their intended transaction. The Society will continue to educate members on the scams, which includes online and in-branch resources, as well as advice at Member Talkback events.

Joe Garner, Chief Executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: “Success is not just ensuring victims are reimbursed - but also preventing these crimes happening in the first place. That’s why we are introducing our scam checker service to help prevent our members being scammed. We're also calling on the big tech, telecoms and social media companies that play host to these crimes to take more responsibility for stopping them. We must work better together in the mutual interest of fighting this criminal activity.”

Each day Nationwide’s Economic Crime team support members who have fallen victim to a scam and the Society continues to play its part in tackling this growing problem by playing an active role in cross-sector working groups. However, there is more that can be done, which is why the Society is campaigning for changes, including:

Sharing responsibility across financial services: Nationwide believes all financial services providers should be responsible for refunding their customers and members, rather than just the biggest, which is currently the case under the CRM. Nationwide also wants the responsibility for refunding to be shared between the sending and receiving bank or building society, ensuring more is done to tackle mule accounts. Currently the onus is placed on the sending provider. The Society is calling for this to be reflected in an improved statutory code covering all relevant parties.
Improved regulation of telecoms, internet service providers and social media: For scams to be significantly reduced, all parts of the payments ecosystem must work together - financial services, telecoms, internet service providers, big tech, social media and the regulators across those sectors. Nationwide wants to see a unified and committed approach to make a tangible difference.
Amendments to the Draft Online Safety Bill: The Draft Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, failed to include protection from scams and fraudulent adverts. Nationwide wants to see these included so that decisive action is taken.

1 Our Scam Protection Promise covers Faster payments, CHAPS payments and internal transfers to another Nationwide account. It does not cover some payment types, like cash withdrawals, cheques, card payments or overseas payments Swift and SEPA.

2 Members won’t be covered if they withhold information we reasonably request, lie to us or are knowingly involved in committing illegal activity, including the scam itself.

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