The UK Financial Ombudsman Service has published its complaints data for the second quarter of 2021/22. Complaints about “authorised” scams increased by 30% in Q2 2021/22, when compared to the same period in 2020/21.

The Financial Ombudsman Service received a total of 4,488 complaints about fraud and scams from July to September 2021 and upheld over 60% in the consumers’ favour. Of this figure, 2,243 complaints were about “authorised” scams compared to 1,725 in July – September 2020.

The “authorised” fraud is a form of scam activity where a person or business is tricked into sending money to a fraudster posing as a genuine account holder.

The increase in the number of people falling victim to scams reflects increased spending online and more fraudster activity during the pandemic. The Financial Ombudsman Service is continuing to uphold around three quarters of “authorised” scam complaints in the consumers’ favour.

The vast majority of “authorised” scam complaints are authorised push payments (APP) where the victim is tricked into making bank transfers to an account posing as a legitimate payee. However, the Financial Ombudsman also sees disputes about whether or not the consumer authorised a payment or withdrawal with their bank card.

Overall, almost three quarters of the “authorised” scam complaints that the Financial Ombudsman receives are about consumers not receiving the goods or services that they’ve ordered; where a scammer has tricked a consumer to move their money to a ‘safe account’ by telling them their bank account has been compromised; and investment scams.

Commenting on the new figures, Financial Ombudsman Service interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman, Nausicaa Delfas, said:

It’s a real concern that we are continuing to see an increase in scam complaints, particularly when shopping online. With the festive period approaching, it’s vital that people are extra vigilant with their finances. If people feel they have not been treated fairly by their banks, we are here to help.