Santander tackles APP fraud on Facebook Marketplace

Santander has launched an additional layer of protection for customers buying items on Facebook Marketplace.

The bank said that customers transferring money via mobile or online banking to purchase goods on the platform will now be shown a tailored scam warning which outlines the risks of doing so.

Customers trying to make a bank transfer will also be asked if they have seen the item in person.

Any customers answering ‘no’ will not have their bank transfer authorised, instead they will be advised to make further checks on the item, including seeing it in person and using a more secure payment method.

The move comes after the bank revealed its customers have lost nearly £6.5 million to Facebook Marketplace scams in 2023 so far, an increase of almost 50 per cent over the past year.

The bank's Authorise Push Payments (APP) report also found that over seven in 10 purchase scams originate on social media.

Santander rolls out the new measures in advance of a new mandatory reimbursement scheme for APP fraud which was announced by the Payment Systems Regulator earlier this year.

The new rules, launching officially on 7 October 2024, will require banks and payments firms “in most cases” to reimburse in-scope customers who fall victim to this type of fraud, while those sending and receiving payments will split the cost 50:50.

“Customers are losing more than ever to the criminals who carry out these scams on Facebook Marketplace and as Christmas approaches we can expect this to increase further," said Chris Ainsley, head of fraud risk management at Santander. "Building on existing measures in place to protect customers, this latest move will prompt our customers to think twice before handing over money to any potential fraudsters."

Ainsley continued: “Everybody should be vigilant when shopping through any online marketplace and the best thing people can do to protect themselves is to not buy any item they haven’t seen in person, or to use a trusted payment method or a debit or credit card.”

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