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How To Prevent APP Scams

APP Scams

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In today’s digital age, online banking and payment applications have become integral to our daily lives. While these apps offer convenience and efficiency, they also open the door to a new threat: Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of APP scams, exploring what they are, how they work, and most importantly, how you can protect yourself from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.

What Are APP Scams?

APP scams are a type of financial fraud in which the scammer convinces the victim to send money to the scammer’s account voluntarily. This voluntary transfer often occurs under false pretences, with the victim believing they are sending money for legitimate reasons, such as paying for goods or services.

In 2023, Kent Brushes fell victim to a highly sophisticated Authorised Push Payment (APP) scam. The organisation was duped into unwittingly granting access to their corporate account. Subsequently, the cybercriminals executed a rapid series of fraudulent transactions, siphoning off £1.6 million.

How APP Scams Work

APP scams come in various forms, but they all rely on manipulation and deception. Let’s take a closer look at some common methods scammers employ:

Impersonation: Cybercriminals often pose as trusted individuals or organisations, such as banks or government agencies. They use emails, phone calls, or even text messages to gain the victim’s trust and convince them to make a payment.

Phishing: Scammers send fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be from legitimate sources, asking the victim to click on a link or download an attachment. Once the victim interacts with these elements, the scammer gains access to their personal and financial information.

Invoice Scams: Fraudsters may send fake invoices for products or services, often with convincing branding and contact information. Victims unknowingly pay the fraudulent invoices, thinking they are settling a legitimate debt.

Romance Scams: In this type of APP scam, scammers build fake romantic relationships with their victims, gaining their trust and eventually requesting money for various fabricated reasons.

Investment Scams: Scammers promise high returns on investments that don’t exist or are non-existent businesses. Victims are lured into investing significant sums of money, only to see their funds disappear.

Protecting Yourself from APP Scams

Verify the Sender’s Identity

Always be cautious when receiving unsolicited emails, text messages, or phone calls asking for personal or financial information. Verify the identity of the sender by contacting the organisation directly through official channels. Never share sensitive information without confirmation.

Use Secure Payment Methods

When making payments through banking or payment apps, ensure that the recipient is legitimate, and that the app is secure. Look for verification marks and double-check the recipient’s details to avoid sending money to the wrong person.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Adding an extra layer of security to your accounts can help protect your finances. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your banking and payment apps to prevent unauthorised access to your accounts.

Be Sceptical of Unsolicited Offers

If someone approaches you with an investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always perform due diligence, research the company or individual, and consult with a financial advisor before making any investments.

Report Suspected Scams

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by an APP scam, report it immediately to your bank, the police, and relevant anti-fraud organisations. Quick reporting can help prevent further losses and aid in the investigation of the scam.


APP scams are a growing threat in the digital age, but with the right knowledge and precautions, you can protect yourself and your finances. Stay vigilant and be cautious when dealing with unfamiliar requests for money. By following the tips mentioned in this blog and staying informed about the latest scams, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to APP scams. Remember, the best defence against these scams is knowledge and caution.

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