14 June 2023

TSB calls for Meta to do more to protect customers from fraud – as consumers could lose £250m from fraud originating from Meta platforms in 2023

  • TSB’s Chief Executive, Robin Bulloch has called on Meta to implement the tech interventions urgently needed to protect consumers from spiralling levels of fraud
  • Banking industry projections based on current levels show UK households could lose £250m to fraud on Meta platforms in 2023
  • TSB revealed that fraud instigated through content on Meta accounts for 80% of fraud cases within TSB’s three biggest fraud categories
  • TSB proposes interventions it believes would provide the protection that the millions who use Meta’s services desperately need
  • TSB offers a Fraud Refund Guarantee and continues to support fraud victims for scams that take place on other sectors

TSB’s Chief Executive, Robin Bulloch has today written to Meta requesting that it introduces the tech interventions that are urgently needed to protect UK households from the spiralling levels of fraud originating on Meta platforms.

TSB tells Meta that scams originating from its platforms account for 80 percent1 of the fraud it refunds within its three biggest fraud categories (Purchase, Investment and Impersonation).

Projections from industry data and current fraud levels show that without the tech interventions required to protect consumers from fraud, scams originating on Meta platforms could account for up to £250m2 of push payment losses to UK households in 2023.

In addition, TSB estimates that over 70,0003 purchase fraud cases – almost 200 a day – took place on Facebook Marketplace in 2022. TSB has highlighted the five tech interventions Meta should take that would drastically reduce the high levels of fraud – and protect the millions of people who use Meta services everyday:

How Meta can prevent fraud and the harm it causes

  1. Introduce a secure payment mechanism so people using Facebook Marketplace can pay for goods safely. At present, Marketplace transactions do not go through a recognised payments system and payments can take place directly from a victim to a fraudster. Providing such a platform could significantly reduce Marketplace fraud.
  2. Stop unregulated firms, in the UK, using Facebook and Instagram to advertise investments and financial products, including cryptocurrencies.
  3. Issue a clear public commitment to investigating – and where confirmed, removing – all content flagged as potentially fraudulent within 24 hours.
  4. Filter out and block obviously fraudulent adverts and social media posts such as those using terms like ‘cash flip’ or ‘crypto offer’.
  5. Flag to WhatsApp users when they’re contacted from new numbers and warn them to check that the numbers are genuine.

TSB is clear that the interventions are urgently needed to stem the tide of fraud on Meta platforms, which currently accounts for:

  • 80 percent of all purchase fraud cases, with three-fifths (60 percent) of these cases coming from Facebook Marketplace, and a further 18 per cent via Instagram
  • 86 percent of impersonation fraud, driven by a sharp increase in WhatsApp-based “friends and family fraud” which has surged by 300 percent in just a year
  • 87 percent of all investment fraud, largely driven by Instagram (59%)
  • On current industry fraud levels, banking sector projections show £250m could be lost to fraud from Meta platforms in 2023.

Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention, TSB, said:

“Meta needs to face up to its responsibility: it has a duty of care to the millions of customers who use its platforms, which is all the more important when we see innocent people lose life-changing sums every day.”

“Today, we have written to Meta demanding it puts in place the tech interventions urgently required to stem the tide of fraud and protect the many consumers who put faith in its services.”

- Ends - 

Media Contacts

Matthew Hepburn, Media Relations Manager | 07483 431 309 | matthew.hepburn@tsb.co.uk

Notes to editors

1. TSB customer data from Jan 2021 – December 2022: Shows that 80% of fraud within Purchase Fraud, Investment Fraud losses refunded by TSB and Impersonation Fraud came from Meta-owned platforms
 
2. TSB’s Director of Fraud’s analysis of overall trends from 2021-22 flowing into 2022-23 using UK-wide industry data and TSB customer data.
 
3. TSB used its own customer data to calculate an annual case load from UK Finance figures – where 117,170 purchase fraud cases took place in 2022.
 
TSB introduced its Fraud Refund Guarantee in April 2019 – and has since refunded 97% of fraud cases. Read more, here: Fraud Refund Guarantee | TSB Bank
 
TSB is the first high street bank accredited by the Good Business Charter which recognises businesses for acting responsibly on 10 key areas that can be found here: Our 10 components - Good Business Charter
 
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.