Authorised push payment fraud

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud happens when someone's tricked into sending money to a fraudster’s account. In 2022, £485.2m was lost to APP fraud in the UK. And, since many cases go unreported, the actual number is likely to be far higher.

Unlike other types of fraud, with APP fraud, the victim voluntarily authorises the transfer of money — often through online banking or over the phone. This makes it very difficult to recover the stolen money. Some victims may even face legal consequences if they unknowingly transfer money that's linked to criminal activities.

With APP fraud on the rise, here are some key red flags to be aware of and some tips on how to avoid it.

APP fraud warning signs

  • Being asked to transfer money urgently or secretly.

  • Being asked to transfer money to a new or unknown bank account.

  • Being contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank, the police or another trusted organisation, when you're not expecting it.

  • Being asked to provide personal or financial information over the phone or online.

  • Being offered a deal that sounds too good to be true.

How to protect yourself from APP fraud

  1. Always verify the identity of the person or company you've been asked to transfer money to. You can do this by reaching out to the company you've been told you're talking to using the details on their website, they’ll be able to confirm whether the message you’ve received is legitimate. 

  2. Be wary of unexpected calls, emails or texts, and never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. 

  3. If you're unsure or suspicious of anything, seek advice from someone or an organisation you trust before making any large or unusual payments.

  4. Use secure and reliable payment methods that offer protection and refunds, like credit cards.

If you have any concerns or you've been contacted by someone you feel is suspicious, please notify your bank and report it to Action Fraud immediately. For additional support and advice, visit the Take Five website.  

How to report fraud

If you think you might have been a victim of fraud or notice a suspicious transaction on your Zopa account, please get in touch.


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Other types of fraud to be aware of

Identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal information is used without your permission to commit a crime or deceive a company or person.

A fraudster can use your details to access your online accounts and apply for credit cards or loans in your name.

Learn more

Money muling

Money muling is a type of money laundering where you’re tricked or paid to receive money into your bank account to give to someone else, likely to cover up criminal or fraudulent activity.

Being a money mule is a criminal offence that could have serious consequences.

Learn more

Car finance fraud

Car finance fraud can sometimes happen when you or someone you know buys a new vehicle.

There are two main types of car finance fraud: guarantor fraud and fronting a finance agreement.

Learn more

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Read about the latest types of fraud, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you've been a victim of fraud.

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