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Impersonation Scam Compensation:

Refunds for Impersonation Scam Compensation

Quick Guide

  • Impersonation scams are where fraudsters pretend to be another person, business or organization to get your trust and you then transfer money to them.
  • Banks have a duty to protect customers from Authorized Push Payment (APP) fraud. If you have lost out to scammers impersonating someone else, then we may be able to claim a refund.
  • Our specialist team works on a no-win no fee basis, you pay us nothing if your compensation claim is unsuccessful.

Have you lost money due to a impersonation scam or fraud?

If your bank failed to do enough to protect you, then you may be owed compensation.

Impersonation scams

As we spend increasingly more time online, the number of fake companies, clone firms and intercept scams is on the rise. More and more people have become the victim of scams where they believed they were dealing with a trusted professional, known person, legitimate business or well-known brand, only to discover that they were in fact fake and spoofing their credentials.

If you have lost out to impersonation scammers, TLS Lawyers may be able to help you claim a refund.

Meet Our Team

Kate Hobbs

Legal Director

Frequently asked questions

If criminal proceedings are taken following a police investigation into the fraud, and there is a successful conviction, then the Court can award compensation. However, it can be difficult to trace the fraudster, mainly if they are overseas, or they may no longer have any assets to pay any compensation awarded by the criminal courts.

Impersonation scams are just one type of Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud. This is where you authorise the transfer of money from your bank to an individual or company, believing them to be genuine. Banks have generally been unwilling to refund money lost because of APP fraud – as the scam victim authorises the payments, they have traditionally been held responsible for their own losses.

If you have been the victim of a scam and feel that the bank did not do enough to protect your money, then you can make a complaint. If you are not happy with the bank’s response, then the complaint can be escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a Government-backed body aimed at resolving disputes between financial businesses and their customers. FOS has the power to award compensation if it feels that following its investigations the bank should have been more proactive in protecting its customers from the risk of financial harm.

There have been a number of important recent decisions in APP fraud cases made in favour of the scam victim rather than the bank. Codes of conduct around due diligence exist to protect banking customers.

Banks have a duty to:

  • Monitor accounts and transactions for risks like fraud, scams and money laundering.
  • Have systems in place to identify, delay or block unusual transactions that might suggest fraud.

Impersonation scams can take many forms, they usually involve someone pretending to be someone else, in an attempt to get you to transfer money directly to them.

Many of us are used to getting text messages claiming to be from delivery companies saying there is a fee due before they can deliver your parcel, or from “the Government” telling us to apply for discounted energy bills, or from a bank telling us that our account has been suspended due to “unusual activity”. These are all well-known impersonation scams designed to shock us into action, click on a link, or divulge private information.

Red flags include these messages having spelling mistakes or strange web addresses – or simply claiming to be from firms that we know we don’t have an account with. We treat most of these as minor nuisances. Unfortunately, not all scams are as obvious, so it is important to be vigilant.

Below are some examples of other impersonation scams:

  • A fraudster posing as a tradesman, someone from a utility company or an official from HMRC – they contact you by email, phone or text message, saying you have an outstanding bill and asking for payment. It’s not just individuals that are targeted, businesses can be too.
  • Scammers can pretend to be your friends and family. They may ask for money urgently, to help with an unexpected bill, overseas travel or a last-minute flight change.
  • ‘Dear Mum/Dad’ scams – where scammers text, WhatsApp message or email parents pretending to be their children, possibly away at university, and ask for emergency payments saying they have lost their phone or an urgent rent payment must be paid.
  • An online advert pops up on social media for a good investment opportunity with a well-known bank – but in fact, the company is a clone. If you click on the advert, you are taken to a fake website with fake social media and contact details. The scammers then get your contact details, start a conversation, go through the motions of setting up an investment account and ask you to transfer money into it.
  • You are dealing with a solicitor during the completion of a house purchase and, at some point during the email exchange, a fraudster intercepts the messages, takes over the conversation and directs the transfer of your funds to their account. You believe you are still dealing with your solicitor and that the house purchase will go ahead when in fact you have been the victim of fraud.

Action Fraud is the police’s national fraud reporting service. Their website gives lots of helpful information about common scams and how to protect yourself. The Take Five website also offers useful tips on how to spot impersonation fraud.

  • Fraudsters can make a phone number or email address appear genuine – double-check the details with the real firm or person in question.
  • If an online advert promises financial returns that appear too good to be true, they probably are!
  • Take your time and do your research. Never feel pressured into sending money from your bank account.
  • Be wary of filling in online forms that ask for personal details or to make a payment.
  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer, especially if they have called you unexpectedly.
  • Reputable firms would never send a courier to collect money, bank cards, log in details or valuable items in person.
  • ‘Safe accounts’ are never used by banking institutions, and you should never be asked to transfer your money into one.
  • Always check out review sites.

Our dedicated APP Fraud team has many years of experience dealing with FOS and successfully claiming compensation for our clients.

We understand the time limits to be followed, the information needed and the claims and appeals processes. The team will also deal with any complex legal arguments and defences that the bank may raise.

Combining our experienced team and digital case management systems means we can proactively pursue your claim and aim to get the best possible results for our clients.

The specialist fraud team at TLS Lawyers are helping many clients recover refunds on a no-win, no-fee basis. If you have a claim, we will deal with your claim from start to finish, whilst keeping you up to date as the case progresses.

The steps in the claims process are:

  1. Submit your claim with us by completing either the online claim form, request a callback, telephone our office, or email us using the contact details provided.
  2. A member of the fraud team will discuss your claim with you and advise whether you may have a claim that we can deal with.  If we can assist you, we will send you our welcome pack which contains useful information on what to expect throughout your claim as well as details of what information we’ll need from you.
  3. You will be assigned a case handler. If following an initial assessment of your case we think you have a claim, we will be in touch to go through the next steps. If we don’t think you have a claim, we will provide our reasons why so that you may consider other options.
  4. Your case handler will ask for and review any additional documentation needed to progress your claim, this will include contacting the banks involved on your behalf. You will be kept up to date by email and phone calls if required.
  5. Depending on the circumstances of your case and due to a wide range of factors outside of our control, making a refund claim can take several months to complete – as your case progresses, we will try to give you as much information as possible about the likely timescales. We will continue to update you on your claim, and you will be able to contact your dedicated case handler if there are any issues or concerns.
  6. We work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, there will be no charge for the work we do.

We offer a free, no-obligation assessment of your case and will make a decision on whether or not to pursue your claim. If we take on your case, we operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, meaning you do not pay us anything if your refund claim is unsuccessful.

If you think that you, a friend or a relative has been the victim of a romance scam, please get in touch with our specialist team for a confidential, no-obligation conversation.

TSL Lawyers pledge to:

  • Always fight your corner.
  • Explain anything you don't understand.
  • Provide full transparency on our charges.
  • Never ask for any upfront payment.
  • Recover the best compensation we can.
  • Keep your personal information safe.
  • Respond quickly to any queries.
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