Fraud Spike In The Netherlands

April 12, 2022
Payments fraud has increased in the Netherlands as the banking sector says that it is doing more than ever to prevent it.

Payments fraud has increased in the Netherlands as the banking sector says that it is doing more than ever to prevent it.

Although the measures that banks are taking to prevent traditional forms of fraud, including stolen bank cards and phishing, are working better, criminals are shifting their modus operandi.

According to the latest statistics released by the Dutch Banking Association, there has been a steep rise in authorised push payment (APP) fraud, whereby users are tricked into transferring money.

The total damage caused by various forms of fraud in the payment system increased in 2021 from almost €50m in 2020 to €62.5m.

Specifically, the damage as a result of bank helpdesk fraud (a form of APP fraud) rose to €47.6m.

However, the damage from other forms of fraud, such as phishing and as a result of stolen bank cards, decreased in 2021.

As part of measures to reduce fraud, the Dutch Banking Association has confirmed that it will launch a new anti-fraud campaign later this year to help consumers identify fraudulent behaviour earlier.

And although banks are not liable for the damage if a payment is made by the customer, the sector has adopted a position of leniency since the end of 2020 and compensated customers who have been victims of bank helpdesk fraud.

In 2021, for example, customers of this fraud were compensated for their losses in 92 percent of cases.

Online fraud often has an enormous emotional impact on victims, said Aleid van der Zwan, deputy director of the Dutch Banking Association. “We therefore continuously take measures to prevent fraud and we help customers to arm themselves against it.”

This works well in forms of fraud such as phishing, where criminals try to gain access to the customer's banking environment, but if customers are persuaded to transfer money themselves, it is more difficult for the bank to recognise fraud, he continued.

“Pending a government-coordinated approach, banks are also seeking cooperation with the police, telecom providers, social media platforms and other parties that can help prevent these forms of fraud."

The increase in digital crime is a broad social problem, the trade association said, adding that it can be tackled together with all the public and private parties involved, under the direction of the government.

Over the past year, the lobby group said that it has actively sought cooperation with other parties.

For example, the collaboration with the telecom sector has helped ensure that bank telephone numbers can no longer be misused by fraudsters. This was undertaken through a collaborative campaign called Velig Bankieren (Safer Banking).

In addition, as a result of cooperation with the police, successes have been achieved in tracing and prosecuting perpetrators.

In October 2021, the Dutch police arrested nine people that were responsible for impersonating customer support, and in this particular incident, were able to freeze crypto-assets into which the criminals had invested their money.

The Dutch police has said that it receives more than 200 reports of incidents of this kind on a daily basis.

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