Authorized Push payments fraud (APP Fraud)

One of the fastest-growing forms of scams around is approved push payment (APP) fraud. According to UK Finance, APP scams amounted to £455.8mio in 2019. 

APP involves the fraudster tricking their victims into making large bank transfers to them. The fraudster acts like someone from your bank or another trusted company, for example, pretending that you have been a victim of fraud and saying that you need to transfer your money to a different bank account.

A criminal could be pretending to be a conveyor and stealing money for a house deposit or pretending to be a contractor asking to pay upfront for renovations that are never carried out are other typical scenarios. 

In most cases, there will always be an urgency, acted out by the fraudster, for the ‘customer’ to act swiftly. 

The scam

In Feb 2020, the Guardian’s scams section told the tale of Sally Flood, who was tricked out of £95,000, after cybercriminals hacked the email address of her solicitor.

She was in frequent contact with her conveyancing solicitor by email and telephone in the run-up to Christmas 2018 as she prepared to buy a property for her children using money that had been left to her in the will of her father.

One day she received an email that seemed to be from her solicitor, asking her to transfer £50,000, it was not much of a surprise, and funds were transferred.

Apparently, the solicitor’s email had been hacked, and Sally Flood had unknowingly made two payments into the hacker’s accounts with the same bank.

She employed a law firm specializing in cybercrime and more than half of the stolen money was recovered by her attorneys, but that still left her £35,000 out of pocket.

Incidents such as this prove that one guilty party seldom triggers scams. Since it was the machine that was compromised, it is convenient to point the finger at the solicitor. However, in an age where cybercrime is common, it is difficult to accuse the company of negligence, if it is not clear how the attack originally took place.

Avoiding APP fraud

Do not trust and accept payment instructions received in an unencrypted email. As in the above scenario, fraudsters hacked the solicitor’s email account and changed the payment instructions to benefit them.

Question yourself to the highest degree if someone asks you to redirect a payment. Make sure you contact the bank or firm, phone number independently sourced, to confirm if any changes to the payment settlement instructions. Don’t depend on messages – they could be intercepted. Never be rushed or put under pressure to pay a bill. Due diligence of payment instructions should be carried out, before payment.   

Being a victim of an APP scam can be devastating. It is a financial violation that can weaken and change lives, whether the victim is an individual or a business. It happens to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Unfortunately, as hackers become smarter, fraud is soaring, and millions of dollars have vanished. Hackers are able to intercept emails, alter payment information that ends up in the fraudsters account, and then easily remove the funds to forever vanish. 


It has become more important than ever to keep our information secure in this internet-connected world, as our data is constantly at risk of falling into the wrong hands. 

Encryption is the safest way to keep your data secure. Without a decryption key (often a password), the data becomes unreadable. Encryption apps, like those for email applications, web traffic, and even passwords themselves, come in several different types. You can encrypt anything on your computer by combining multiple pieces of software, plus all the internet traffic flowing to and from it.

Fortknoster Transfer provides a secure peer to peer encryption document transfer to prevent email sharing of confidential payment information between two parties, that could otherwise easily be hacked and intercepted. It is a complete system of disk partition encryption that offers flexibility and allows you to choose what to encrypt.

The ability to generate a password hint for the receiver is one feature that is unique to share encrypted files, so you do not have to worry about nullifying the encryption aspect by relaying a password.

By using Fortknoxster Transfer you can share documents or sensitive information securely through your favourite app or email, our solution provides you with that security and peace of mind that you need so much to share information.

If you are looking to protect your online privacy and secure your communications online using FortKnoxster Messenger is the right choice, it now protects over 60 thousand users communications

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