Britain’s biggest bank has issued an urgent warning after a fresh spate of fraud targets those struggling with the cost of living.
Lloyds Bank said it has seen a 90 per cent spike in so-called “advance fee” scams, where scammers pose as a legitimate company and ask for money upfront for a loan. The victims lost an average of 231 pounds, the bank said.
In this scam, scammers contact victims who entered their details on what appears to be a professional website after looking for a loan online.
Lloyds said scammers posed as representatives of legitimate lenders and even sent documents to support their claims. Reports of advance fee fraud have already risen more than 90 percent this year, with the number of cases “continuing to rise sharply.”
The bank’s Liz Ziegler said scammers pray for customers with bad credit or those experiencing financial difficulties due to rising costs of living.
She said: “Organized crime groups will ruthlessly exploit any change in consumer behavior. We’ve seen this during the pandemic with the rise in purchase fraud, when certain goods became scarce and more people shopped online.
“It’s important to remember that a real lending company will never ask for an upfront payment before releasing the funds. If you are concerned about your finances there are many organizations that can help you and it always makes sense to speak to your bank first.”
Timothy Campbell of cybersecurity firm Mimecast urged consumers to be vigilant. He said: “There is no doubt scammers are taking advantage of the cost of living crisis, as those in desperate times are less likely to carry out proper checks when they can easily get hold of much-needed cash.
“Customers should be particularly vigilant when receiving communications from financial institutions – particularly unsolicited correspondence.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/britains-biggest-bank-issues-urgent-warning-new-scam/ Britain’s biggest bank issues ‘urgent warning’ over new scam