Protect yourself from fraud

Faster Payments are processed instantly, and as soon as the money reaches the recipients account they can be sure it’s theirs.

This convenience means it is important you are sure the recipient is genuine – particularly if you are paying someone you don’t know for goods or services.

When buying goods and services, you should satisfy yourself that you have received the goods and are happy with them. Paying using a Faster Payment is similar to paying using cash – you should only do it with someone you trust.

Some fraudsters will attempt to persuade you to use Faster Payments to send a payment to them. That’s why we are supporting the industry-wide Take Five  campaign which offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone in the UK protect themselves against financial fraud.

There’s also more information on common tactics fraudsters use below.


Fake ‘buyer protection’ scam

You should be wary of fake ‘buyer protection’ programmes that claim to be linked to Faster Payments. Faster Payments does not have any buyer protection programme of any kind. There have been particular instances of this scam being used in relation to fraudulent vehicle sales. 

Unfortunately, a common tactic used by these criminals is to attempt to pass off branding and logos from genuine websites in the course of their fraudulent activity. Faster Payments never contacts customers directly – you should disregard any communications you receive that claim otherwise. 

Unauthorised payments

An unauthorised transaction is a payment from an account which has taken place without the permission of the account holder. This can include transactions that are the result of a fraudster gaining unauthorised access to a customer’s account, but does not include any payments that the customer has authorised themselves. 

To protect yourself, you should make sure you follow the security advice provided by your bank. Check their website or contact them if you aren’t sure what you need to do. Deliberately making a false claim that a payment was unauthorised is fraud and your bank could report it to the police. Or if there is evidence that a refund is not valid, your bank may withhold or reclaim the funds. 

If you report an unauthorised transaction to your bank, they will investigate the circumstances on your behalf. As long as you didn’t authorise the transaction yourself, have kept your details secure and have not been a knowing party to a fraud, your bank will refund you - including any bank charges incurred or interest lost as a direct result of the unauthorised transaction. 

Reporting fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national police body for fraud and internet crime reporting: 

As the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud is the first point of contact for any victim of fraud – they pass on all fraud cases to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which is overseen by the police force that leads on fraud for the UK – the City of London Police. 

Further advice

Faster Payments works with a number of industry anti-fraud bodies to protect the integrity of the service, and all Faster Payments are subject to strong legal protection to ensure that innocent victims of fraud are protected from losses caused by unauthorised payments.

To find out more about steps you can take to stay safe when banking online, visit:  or