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'I was very sceptical' Teen devastated as he loses £700 meant for rent to scammers posing

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Authorise Push Payment fraud occurs when victims are tricked into sending their own money to criminals. On the BBC’s Money Box this weekend, Paul Lewis spoke with a victim of this crime, Rudy DeSousa, about his situation.

Unfortunately, Mr DeSousa was targeted and had £700 of his Child Trust Fund stolen last week.

He said: “I got a call from a number, and they said they were Santander and they explained to me that my account had been compromised and I needed to transfer my money from one bank to another, or from one account to another.

“At first, I was very sceptical because these things just don’t happen, so I asked them how can they prove that they are Santander. They then told me to Google the number, so I did, and it came up as Santander but that wasn’t enough.

“I asked what could you know that only Santander could know and they read off to me my card details, my sort code and my account number so I had no idea how they could have gotten that information without working for Santander.”

READ MORE: Furlough: Older people may be ‘forced into retirement’ as scheme ends

Every month 55,000 young people become adults and on their 18th birthday they now get access to the government backed Child Trust fund.

This was set up in 2002, and since then over six million accounts were opened before the scheme closed in 2011.

The first matured a year ago and these young adults were granted access, however they should be aware as these scams are increasing.

Due to previous letters from Santander about watching out for fraud, Mr DeSousa was aware that fraud in general was happening. He knew that the bank would never ask for one’s password, or one time code so that was the only thing he was looking out for regarding scams.

He said: “I thought maybe they would try and instal something on my device or get your details and then go into your bank like that, but they already had my details.

“So, I wasn’t aware of this authorised push payment scam happening.”

When discussing what actions the bank could do to prevent this scam happening to other people his age, especially those receiving the child trust fund he said: “I think in this case social media could be used really really well as a platform to inform youth.

“To be honest, it’s all we do at the moment, and maybe a 30 second ad on snapchat.

“Or something that comes up on your feed would be nice, rather than just one of the many letters that you get sent through the mail, or an email that gets buried at the bottom of your inbox.

“It should be something that is put right in front of your face.”

Mr DeSousa was able to get his £700 back from the bank which he was very pleased with.

Many people in similar situations, however, may not find themselves as lucky. Some could lose their money forever if their bank decides they cannot reimburse them.

Sadly, fraud is becoming increasing popular, especially in the last couple of years.

Fraud amounts to a third of all the crime within the UK and in 2020 alone, nearly 150,000 people were victims of Authorised Push Payment fraud. Research found these individuals lost nearly half a billion pounds



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