“Victim blaming” is unproductive in the fight against fraud, says Aspect

Study of bank fraud victims reveals that one in nine felt like their provider treated them like the criminal, not the victim.

Following RBS chief executive, Ross McEwan’s blaming of ‘careless’ fraud victims for devastating losses of money, Aspect Software has responded with further findings that banks are needlessly blaming victims for fraud across the industry, rather than employing technology that can help.

Research by Censuswide, commissioned by Aspect, revealed that one in nine people who were a victim of banking fraud, felt like their provider treated them like the criminal, not the victim. 12% were not believed, and 12% felt the bank was not doing all it could to put their mind at rest. The research also found that over a quarter of bank customers also have to go out of their way to report fraud to their providers even though the technology is there to solve this issue. Shockingly, the most common way that customers were first alerted to any fraud on their account, building society or credit card account(s) was that they personally saw a suspicious transaction/activity via online banking.

The CEO of RBS continues to warn that victims of bank fraud should not expect automatic refunds stating that people “can’t keep blaming this on an organisation where customers don’t take their own duty of care as well. When people are passing their iPads or laptops over with their passwords and the like, there’s got to be a care here, otherwise this will just become a major issue for all and the cost will pass through.”

But according to Aspect’s research, only 44 per cent of cases where monies were lost fraudulently were refunded by banks, taking on average 3.7 days to reach their accounts. Some 16 per cent claimed they were refunded “immediately”, with a further 28 per cent receiving a refund within 24 hours. 3 per cent say that it took longer than a week, and 2 per cent claim they never received reimbursement from their provider despite the fraud being through no fault of their own.

Keiron Dalton, Global Program Senior Director, Aspect Software, commented: “Pointing fingers, and victim blaming won’t solve the real issue at hand. More than a quarter of respondents had to report fraud or suspicious activity to their providers first. The use of mobiles for banking has made it possible to leverage publicly available mobile data to verify users with something as simple as a short, automated call, which can identify and flag suspicious activity such as SIM Swap and call divert. Security need not be taxing, but instead it can be imperceptible to the customer and offer multi-factor authentication at the same time thus avoiding fraudster’s access to accounts and avoiding any victim blaming,” he concluded.

Keiron concluded: “The BBA calculates that people log into mobile banking apps more than 11 million times a day in Britain alone. Consumers that choose to manage their money via a device expect flexible, speedy digital banking that’s so easy it has become second nature, so why are we still in the dark ages when it comes to fraud? If mobile can make money management easy, frictionless and convenient, why can’t it for security, verifying identity and identifying attacks before they can succeed?”

*Survey conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by Aspect Software UK. Sample of 500 respondents in the UK 16+ years old, who have experienced at least one incidence of banking fraud in the last 12 months. Research conducted in April 2017.