Top cop’s view ‘online fraud victims shouldn’t get automatic refunds’, causes anger

Security concept: computer keyboard with word Cyber Crime, selected focus on enter button background, 3d render

Security concept: computer keyboard with word Cyber Crime, selected focus on enter button background, 3d render

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A charity for older peoples has hit out at comments made by a top cop that banks should not automatically refund victims of online fraud because it “rewards” lax internet security.

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan recently said: “If you are continually rewarded for bad behaviour you will probably continue to do it but if the obverse is true you might consider changing behaviour.”

However Paul Green, director of communications for retirement experts Saga hit back.

He said: “Blaming the victims of crime is no way for anyone to behave let alone the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Keeping up with scams is almost a full-time job. Society expects the banks and the police to be able to keep us safe from this type of crime - if they’re unable to keep up with the ever sophisticated nature of this fraud, what chance do the rest of us have.

“This is a particular problem for older people that could result in them feeling digitally isolated for fear of becoming a victim and then being blamed by those who they expect to protect them.”

And consumer group Which echoed this adding that the burden of protection should lie with banks.

Their executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: “With online fraud increasing, this is an astonishingly misjudged proposal from the Met Police Commissioner. When we investigated last year, we found too often that banks were dragging their feet when dealing with fraud.”

Losses due to internet banking fraud in the UK rose by 64 percent in 2015 compared with a year earlier, to £133.5m.

Customers who become the victims of online fraud can expect to receive a full refund on any losses from their bank or card supplier, unless they have been “grossly negligent”.

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