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Bank Charge Auditors claim banks shun fraud victims

15 November 2006
Banks are increasingly loath to accept responsibility for the losses suffered by victims of fraud, according to a report in the Times.

Mark Radin of Bank Charge Auditors, which helps fraud victims, told the paper the number of cases his advisers saw where banks had either pressed the victim for further proof of innocence or refused to help entirely now stood at 90 per cent.

"It's a sad fact that the burden of proof is on the individual", Owen Roberts from the identity-fraud insurer CPP confirmed.

According to credit firm Experian, assembling the proof of identity needed to back up a consumer complaint can take an individual 300 hours.

But identity theft is a growing threat to consumers, with identity theft cases rising from 22,520 in 2000 to 56,200 in 2005 according to the UK's fraud-prevention service, Cifas.

Identity theft has risen in significant part due to online activity, such as shopping, where consumers divulge personal information in insecure contexts.

The Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) recently documented a 16-fold surge in the first half of 2006 in the number of recorded incidents of money loss through phishing email scams, which attract customers to external websites and entice them to reveal sensitive information.

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