TSB is warning consumers to remain wary of fraud that is taking place through Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. According to TSB, scams from these Meta-owned companies account for 80% of fraud cases within the three biggest fraud categories.

Purchase fraud

TSB found that 80% of purchase fraud cases at TSB involved scams that took place through Meta’s platforms. Some three fifths (60%) of these cases come from Facebook Marketplace, followed by Instagram (18%).

Fraud from scam activity on Facebook Marketplace doubled (97%) in one year. TSB refunded 2,100 cases from this platform alone, under the Bank’s Fraud Refund Guarantee.

The doubling of Facebook Marketplace fraud within TSB’s data is cause for concern across the banking sector. TSB fraud experts point to the lack of a payment platform. This prevents consumers completing transactions securely. The minimal obligations on platforms to vet adverts and profiles makes it easier for fraudsters to place scam adverts with ease.

Impersonation Fraud

TSB data shows scam activity on Meta platforms led to 86% of impersonation fraud cases over the year. This is driven by a sharp increase in WhatsApp-based Friends and Family Fraud.

WhatsApp accounts for two thirds (65%) of TSB cases within this category. This is followed by Facebook (13%), and text messages (13%).

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Alarmingly, TSB data shows cases coming through the WhatsApp platform fraud increased by 300% in a year. This results in TSB refunding customers in over 550 cases.

TSB fraud experts are urging vigilance to any unsuspected messages claiming to be members of customers’ family, or close friends. They advise contacting the individual directly, if possible, before ever sending a payment.

Investment Fraud

Scams taking place through Meta account for almost nine in 10 (87%) of all investment fraud cases at TSB.

Six in 10 cases (59%) originated from Instagram scam activity, followed by Facebook (22%). Non-Meta Snapchat made up almost one in ten (9%) of cases.

TSB’s campaign for fraud refunds

With the high levels of fraud generated by other sectors, TSB believes that consumers cannot wait another 12 months for vital refund protections to be brought in by the Payment Systems Regulator.

TSB is campaigning for all banks to offer protection much closer to that provided through its TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee.

In addition, TSB believes more should be done to hold social media companies to account.

Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention, TSB, said: “Social media companies must urgently clean up their platforms to protect the countless innocent people who use their services every day. In the meantime, we are urging the public to remain cautious to potential scam content – and to spread the word to help protect those around you.

“It’s high time that social media and telephone companies took financial liability for the rising levels of fraud taking place on their platforms. Our Fraud Refund Guarantee continues to play a vital, often life-changing role in returning money to innocent victims of fraud.”