Trade association UK Finance has revealed that more than 84,000 bank customers fell victim to so-called bank payment scams in 2018.
According to data published by UK Finance, in the first half of 2018, £93 million was transferred out of personal accounts to fraudsters, with the customer's permission. In the second half of 2018, £135 million was transferred from bank accounts to criminals.
The data also revealed that criminals are shifting their attention from trying to penetrate the banking system to defrauding members of the public directly.
According to UK Finance, criminals are carrying out a range of fraudulent activities. Some fraudsters sell counterfeit or non-existent goods online, whilst others execute sophisticated scams in which they pretend to be a trader known to the customer, and demand payments.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: 'We are seeing a shift away from some of the methods that fraudsters are using to try and attack banks' security systems to focusing on the person and duping them into making the payment themselves.'
In 2018, banks reimbursed £83 million of the losses suffered by bank customers. However, the final bill for businesses and individuals totalled £354 million. Banks have agreed to follow a new voluntary code from May 2019, which will facilitate reimbursement if a victim has met 'expected standards of behaviour'.