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What is an authorised push payment scam?

If a criminal tricks you into transferring money to them, it’s known as an authorised push payment (APP) scam.

It differs from other types of fraud, where criminals get access to accounts and steal money without the account holder’s knowledge.

With APP scams, criminals often try to persuade you to take action in a hurry. They make you panic before you have time to think it through properly.

We’re pleased to be among the first banks to sign up to a voluntary code to combat APP scams, agreed with the Lending Standards Board, as part of our commitment to protecting you from fraud.

Here are some typical APP scams and warning signs to beware of.

Safe accounts

You may be tricked into sending money to a ‘safe account’. For example, criminals may claim your account has been compromised and tell you to move your money to a new account that's been opened for you.

Property purchase

This is where you receive a fake email or invoice changing the payment details for a property purchase.

Goods and services

This scam aims to persuade the victim to pay for goods or services that don’t exist. Find out more about purchase scams.

Investment scams

Criminals offer bogus investment opportunities that promise very high returns. Sometimes the scam can offer a high return over a short period. Or it might be a false promise of longer-term profit, with some initial returns paid out to further convince people. Read more about investment scams and cloned companies.

Impersonation scams 

Victims send money to fraudsters impersonating a trusted organisation, a person they think they know or even a friend or family member. This includes refund scams, where you're told you're getting money back that you weren’t expecting. Find out more about other types of impersonation scams, such as payment diversion and romance scams.

Asking you to lie

If you're asked to lie to your bank about the reason for your payment, or cash withdrawal, that's a telltale sign of a scam.