05 May 2023

TSB sees huge fraud spikes from Meta-owned companies, as the Bank issues warning on scale of social media scams

  • TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee reimburses 97% of fraud cases – as Bank continues to lead campaign for fraud refunds and action from other sectors to prevent scams
  • Scams taking place through Meta-owned companies account for 80 percent of fraud cases at TSB within the three biggest fraud categories
  • WhatsApp Friends and Family fraud rockets by 300 percent
  • Facebook Marketplace purchase fraud nearly doubles in a year
 
TSB – which operates its unique Fraud Refund Guarantee – is warning consumers to remain wary of fraud that is taking place through Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – as the Bank reveals scams that come through these Meta-owned companies account for 80 percent1 of all fraud cases within the three biggest fraud categories at TSB2.
 
Purchase fraud
 
TSB found that 80 percent of purchase fraud cases at TSB involved scams that took place through Meta’s platforms - with three fifths (60%) of these cases coming from Facebook Marketplace, followed by Instagram (18%).
 
Fraud from scam activity on Facebook Marketplace doubled (97%) in one year; as TSB refunded 2,100 cases from this platform alone – under the Bank’s Fraud Refund Guarantee.
 
The doubling of Facebook Marketplace fraud within TSB’s data is cause for concern across the banking sector – as TSB fraud experts point to the lack of a payment platform, which prevents consumers completing transactions securely. The minimal obligations on platforms to vet adverts and profiles makes it easier for fraudsters to place scam adverts with ease.
 
Impersonation Fraud
 
TSB data shows scam activity on Meta platforms led to 86 percent of impersonation fraud cases over the year – driven by a sharp increase in WhatsApp-based Friends and Family Fraud.
 
WhatsApp accounts for two thirds (65%) of TSB cases within this category; followed by Facebook (13%), and text messages (13%).
 
Alarmingly, TSB data shows cases coming through the WhatsApp platform fraud increased by 300 percent in a year, with over 550 cases refunded by TSB.
 
TSB fraud experts are urging vigilance to any unsuspected messages claiming to be members of your family, or close friends. They advise contacting the individual directly, if possible, before ever sending a payment.
 
Investment Fraud
 
Scams taking place through Meta account for almost nine in 10 (87%) of all investment fraud cases at TSB.
 
Six in 10 cases (59%) originated from Instagram scam activity, followed by Facebook (22%). Non-Meta Snapchat made up almost one in ten (9%) of cases.
 
TSB’s fraud experts urges potential investors to stick to recognised investment platforms and to steer clear of social media ‘get rich quick’ schemes and too-good-to-be-true offers.
 
TSB’s campaign for fraud refunds
 
With the high levels of fraud generated by other sectors, TSB believes that consumers cannot wait another 12 months for vital refund protections to be brought in by the Payment Systems Regulator.
 
TSB is campaigning for all banks to offer levels of fraud refund protection much closer to that provided to customers through TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee.
 
Following the publication of the Government’s fraud strategy, TSB believes more should be done to hold social media companies to account
 
Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention, TSB, said:
 
“Social media companies must urgently clean up their platforms to protect the countless innocent people who use their services every day. In the meantime, we are urging the public to remain cautious to potential scam content – and to spread the word to help protect those around you.
 
“It’s high time that social media and telephone companies took financial liability for the rising levels of fraud taking place on their platforms.
 
“Our Fraud Refund Guarantee continues to play a vital, often life-changing role in returning money to innocent victims of fraud, who fall foul due to vulnerabilities in other sectors.
 
- Ends - 

Media Contacts

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

Notes to editors

1. TSB analysed TSB customer fraud data to compare 2021 with 2022. The data relates to cases where the platform has been recorded.
 
2. Purchase, Impersonation and Investment fraud are the three biggest fraud categories at TSB by case load / volume
 
Read more on TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee, here: Fraud Refund Guarantee | TSB Bank
 
TSB is the only bank, telco or tech firm to be accredited by the GBC because of its commitments to paying its fair share of tax, inclusion and diversity and prompt payment of our small business suppliers. Homepage - 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. ‚Äč