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TSB welcomes new fraud refund rules and calls on social media and phone companies to step up in protecting consumers from fraud

16th April 2024

  • TSB’s latest data shows 61 percent of all Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud cases stem from social media platforms
  • Fraud from phone companies accounts for 52 percent of financial losses
  • TSB marks five years of offering fraud protection through its Fraud Refund Guarantee, with 97 percent of APP cases refunded since April 2019
  • Bank highlights successful campaigns to help deliver new fraud refund rules, and the Online Fraud Charter
  • Over £1.3 million is lost a day across the banking sector to APP fraud, according to UKFI

TSB is marking five years of its pioneering Fraud Refund Guarantee with a call for more sectors to match its commitment to customer protection – as it reveals losses stemming from social media and phone companies still dominate.

The bank analysed authorised push payment fraud cases in Q1 2024,1 and found that fraud from social media platforms accounted for over three-fifths (61%) of all cases at TSB; a quarter (25%) having taken place through phone companies, and 14 percent from online sources.2

In terms of value of losses, telephone fraud continued to cause higher customer losses per case – accounting for just over half (52%) of all customer money stolen. Social media fraud accounted for over a third (35%) of financial losses.

Worst scams on social media and telecoms companies

The top two worst scams continue to be purchase fraud (social media) and impersonation fraud via phones.

Social media: Purchase fraud, in which criminals falsely list discounted items for sale that will never arrive, accounted for four in five (80%) of all social media fraud cases at TSB. Notably, seven in 10 (71%) of these cases stemmed from Facebook.

Phone: For fraud carried out via phone – impersonation scams (where fraudsters impersonate someone you know or a well-known organisation) claimed two-fifths (42%) of fraud victims. In terms of financial losses, ‘safe account fraud’, in which criminals pose as a customer’s bank, accounted for two-fifths (41%) of money lost via phone – as it continues to be a high-value type of fraud.

Five years of protecting customers through TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee

On 14th April, 2019, TSB took the bold move to break from the rest of the banking sector and pledge to refund all innocent victims of fraud3 – at a time when the industry refund rate was just 19 percent.4 Since then, TSB has refunded 97 percent of all customers who have fallen victim to APP fraud.

In addition, TSB has successfully campaigned for new fraud refund rules to be implemented by the Payment Systems Regulator. These will come into effect in October this year – and will lead to significantly higher fraud refund rates for all other bank customers. TSB also welcomed the introduction of the Government's Online Fraud Charter, having led a campaign on social media fraud.

Matt Hepburn, Fraud Spokesperson, TSB, said:

“For five years, TSB has provided the highest level of support to customers that become innocent victims of push payment fraud – and led the way for the new refund rules which come into effect later this year.

“However, we must now tackle the root cause. Almost every case we refund starts on social media or through telephone companies – so it's time these sectors matched our commitment to protecting customers from fraud.”

TSB offers fraud prevention advice to consumers to avoid falling victim to social media and telephone fraud

  • Avoid making a purchase through a social media site unless you can view the item in person – with such a high rate of ‘Purchase Fraud’ on social media platforms it pays to be wary.
  • Remember that on social media, you don’t know if you’re in contact with the genuine person or if an advert is legitimate – so don’t rush in by giving away your personal details, or your finances.
  • Banks will NEVER ask you to move your money to a ‘safe-account’ - if anyone asks you to do so it is fraud. If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank then hang up and dial 159 – the Stop Scams service which can instantly verify whether the call is genuine, or a scam. In all likelihood it will be a scam – so hang up and dial 159.
  • If contacted out of the blue by a company, or an individual it’s always best to check directly via an official phone number, or by contacting the individual directly. Remember, fraudsters can spoof official numbers – so don’t trust a call just because the number looks genuine.
  • Be suspicious of any ‘out-of-the-blue’ text messages.
  • Don't click on links – as fraudsters are simply trying to get you to input your sensitive and personal details to scam you with.
  • Finally, don’t rush in. You can break a fraudster’s spell by cutting off communication and having a cup of tea or telling a friend or colleague about the contact you’ve had: fraudsters prey on creating panic, so don’t let them.


- Ends-


Notes to editors

1 TSB excluded data in which a sector had not been recorded as part of the scam when the scam was first recorded. All data is internal data for Q1 2024 – and relates to Authorised Push Payment fraud.

2 Online fraud includes search engines, fake websites, fraud on retail sites, and fraud committed via email.

3 Conditions apply. Read about our Fraud Refund Guarantee, here: Fraud Refund Guarantee | TSB Bank

4 UK Finance fraud report for 2019 states a refund rate of 19 percent between January – June 2019: Fraud-The-Facts-2020-FINAL-ONLINE-11-June.pdf (


Fraud timeline since TSB introduced its Fraud Refund Guarantee in April 2019:

  • April 2019: TSB launches its Fraud Refund Guarantee – an industry first.
  • May 2019: the voluntary “Contingent Reimbursement Model” comes into effect.
  • November 2019: Treasury Committee calls for the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code to be made mandatory.
  • December 2020: the PSR begins considering mandatory reimbursement.
  • February 2021: the PSR launches a “call for views” on mandatory reimbursement.
  • September 2021: TSB highlights growing issue of fraud on social media channels.
  • November 2021: the Payment Systems Regulator consults on how to introduce a mandatory reimbursement model.
  • April 2022: TSB publishes ‘Tackling Fraud Together’ report and launches campaign in parliament in support of mandatory reimbursement and publishing of refund rates.
  • May 2022: the Government announces its intention to legislate in the Financial Services and Markets Bill to clarify that the PSR can use existing regulatory powers to require reimbursement.
  • September 2022: the PSR publishes its ‘Authorised push payment (APP) scams: Requiring reimbursement’ consultation.
  • May 2023: TSB highlights again the scale of social media fraud and writes to Meta’s European Vice President
  • June 2023: the Financial Services and Markets Bill receives Royal Assent – establishing mandatory reimbursement in law.
  • September 2023: TSB holds event on scale of fraud on social media at Conservative party conference.
  • October 2023: TSB meets with Meta’s European Vice President and UK team to share fraud findings.
  • December 2023: the PSR announces the Final Policy Statement on mandatory reimbursement.
  • December 2023: the Government announces the Online Fraud Charter.
  • February 2024: TSB, along with Santander and Revolut, give evidence to Parliament (Social Affairs Committee) on the need for social media firms to do more to tackle fraud.
  • October 2024: new mandatory reimbursement rules to come into effect.
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The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. ​