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How to protect yourself from APP frauds
How to protect yourself from APP frauds
Luna avatar
Written by Luna
Updated over a week ago

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated each day, making it imperative for us to remain vigilant. We have compiled a collection of prevalent scamming schemes to aid in safeguarding yourself.

What are APP frauds?

APP (Authorised Push Payment) frauds are those where the victim is persuaded to authorise a payment by a fraudster who steals the funds. These are to be distinguished from non-authorised frauds such as when a victim’s account is hacked and their personal details are stolen by fraudsters and used to defraud them.

In an authorised push payment scam, a criminal will trick their victim into sending money directly from their account to an account which the criminal controls.

How to protect yourself from APP frauds?

Verify the Sender’s Identity

  • Be cautious when you receive unexpected emails, texts, or calls requesting personal or financial details.

  • Reach out to the organisation directly via official channels to verify the identity of the sender.

  • Do not disclose sensitive information without confirmation.

Utilise Secure Payment Methods

  • Ensure the legitimacy of the recipient and the security of the application when conducting financial transactions through banking or payment applications.

  • Look for verification marks and verify the recipient’s details to avoid any unintended funds transfer to an incorrect party.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

  • Using 2FA, such as Google Authenticator, adds an extra layer of security to your account and safeguards your funds.

Be Wary of Unsolicited Offers

  • If someone comes to you with a seemingly incredible investment opportunity, it is most likely not legitimate.

  • Before making any investments, it would be wise to diligently research the company or individual and seek guidance from a trusted financial advisor.

Report Suspected Scams

  • If you suspect you’ve been targeted by an APP scam, please promptly report it to us through our live chat or by contacting our support team at

Types of scams

UK Finance in their Annual Fraud Report have identified 8 different APP frauds typologies as follows:

Types of Scams


Ways to Prevent

Purchase Scams

The victim pays in advance for goods or services that are never received. These scams usually involve the victim using an online platform such as an auction website or social media.

  • Be suspicious of any offers or prices that look too good to be true.

  • Use a secure payment method. Be wary of requests to pay by bank transfer.

  • Buy items from authorised sellers on their official website.

Investment Scams

A criminal convinces their victim to move their money to a fictitious fund or to pay for a fake investment. The criminal will usually promise a high return to entice their victim into making the transfer. These scams include investing in gold, property, carbon credits, cryptocurrencies, land banks and wine.

  • Be cautious when presented with investment opportunities. These could potentially be scams, especially if you feel pressured to make a quick decision.

  • Check if an investment or pension opportunity you’ve been offered could potentially be a scam by taking the FCA’s ScamSmart test.

Romance Scams

The victim is persuaded to make a payment to a person they have met, often online through social media or dating websites and with whom they believe they are in a relationship.

  • Avoid sending money to someone you’ve never met in person, particularly if you have only recently connected online.

  • Only accept friend requests from people you know and trust.

  • Speak to your family or friends to get advice.

Advance Fee Scams

A criminal convinces their victim to pay a fee which they claim will result in the release of a much larger payment or as a deposit for high-value goods and holidays.

  • Be sceptical of claims that you are due money for goods or services that you haven’t ordered or are unaware of, especially if you have to pay any fees upfront.

  • Verify the email addresses of recruiters to ensure they are legitimate and be alert to platforms that are not commonly used by businesses.

  • Be suspicious of fake profiles on social media platforms.

Invoice and Mandate Scams

The victim attempts to pay an invoice to a legitimate payee, but the criminal intervenes to convince the victim to redirect the payment to an account they control.

  • Always confirm any bank account details before you make a payment or transfer any money.

  • Criminals can access or alter emails to make them appear authentic. Do not use the contact details in an email, instead check the company’s official website.

  • If this is your first time transferring money to an account, transfer a small sum first and check with the company using verified contact that the payment has been received.

CEO Scams

The scammer manages to impersonate the CEO or other high-ranking official of the victim’s organisation to convince the victim to make an urgent payment to the scammer’s account.

  • Always check unusual payment requests directly to confirm the instruction is genuine. Do not use contact details from an email.

  • Establish documented internal processes for requesting and authorising all payments and be suspicious of any request to make a payment outside of the company’s standard process.

  • Be cautious about any unexpected emails or letters which request urgent bank transfers.

Impersonation Scams: Police/Bank Staff

The criminal contacts the victim purporting to be from either the police or the victim’s bank and convinces the victim to make a payment to an account they control.

  • Your bank or the police will never ask you to transfer money to a safe account or ask for your PIN or full password.

  • Only provide your personal information to services you have consented to.

  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or unsolicited text.

Impersonation Scams: Other

Criminals claim to represent an organisation such as a utility company, communications service provider or government department. Common scams include claims that the victim must settle a fictitious fine, pay overdue tax or return an erroneous refund. Sometimes the criminal requests remote access to the victim’s computer as part of the scam, claiming they need to help ‘fix’ a problem.

  • Always question uninvited approaches and contact the company directly using a verified email or phone number.

  • Fraudsters may have some details about you, however just because someone knows your basic details it does not mean they are genuine.

  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer as a result of a cold call or unsolicited message.

The above information is sourced from the UK Finance Annual Fraud Report. For more details, kindly visit the website link provided below:

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