This page contains information about our general approach to complaints about fraud and scams. If you’re looking for information specifically in relation to Covid-19, please look at our dedicated page that contains information for consumers about complaints in relation to Covid-19.
Every year we see thousands of complaints involving fraud and scams. The circumstances are wide-ranging, from disputed card transactions and cash machine withdrawals to online banking fraud and identity theft.
Types of complaints we see
People typically bring their complaint to us when their bank refuses to refund the money that’s been lost. The range of complaints we see is constantly evolving as fraudsters develop new – and increasingly sophisticated – methods. Some fraud and scams can be very convincing - for example, using fake websites that look identical to banks’ online systems, or text messages that to all intents and purposes look like they’re from someone’s bank.
A large portion of the complaints we see fall into the following three categories:
- plastic card transactions that the customer tells us they didn’t make or authorise – such as purchases of goods or services online or in stores or nightclubs, for example
- scams where the customer was tricked into handing over their bank details, allowing the fraudster to take money from their account without their consent
- scams where the customer was tricked into transferring money to the fraudster’s account – often because they believed they were making a payment to their bank or another trusted organisation
What we look at
To help us consider a complaint fairly, we'll ask you to provide some information. We’ll make our decision about what happened using evidence provided by you, the bank and any relevant third parties. In reaching a decision, we consider:
- the relevant law
- any regulations that applied at the time
- any industry codes of conduct in force at the time
- the terms and conditions of the account that the disputed transaction was made from
Read more about how we make decisions.
How to complain
The first thing you should do is explain to the business what's happened and why you're complaining. They should look into things and reply within 15 days.
If you’re not happy with their response, or the business doesn't reply in time, you can bring your complaint to us. We’ll check it’s something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate.
Find out more about how to make a complaint.
How long it takes
Putting things right
If we find you’ve been treated unfairly, we'll ask the business to put things right. This usually involves putting you back in the position you’d be in if things hadn’t gone wrong. It'll depend on the nature and type of complaint but it might include, for example, asking a business to refund a disputed transaction and consider the impact it had on you and your account, including interest and charges.
A customer was asked to transfer money as her account was under threat
A customer was told she needed to pay a tax bill - or face arrest
Scams Fraud Banking
A customer bought a phone from an online auction site
Scams Electronic Payments Banking
Detailed information for businesses
If you're a business looking for information to help you resolve complaints, detailed information about fraud and scams complaints can be found in the business section of our website.
Information about Covid-19
For guidance specifically about Covid-19, please look at our dedicated page that contains information about complaints in relation to Covid-19.