Santander warns people who have '£647 or more' in bank account

Santander has issued a warning after 439 customers fell victim to a Facebook Marketplace scam since December, resulting in an average claim of £647. Between 5 December 2023 and 13 May 2024, Santander prevented 1,899 customers from proceeding with their Facebook Marketplace purchase, after customers admitted to not having seen the item in person that they were attempting to buy.

But 439 customers fell victim to a Facebook Marketplace scam, which included 263 customers who initially told the bank that they had not seen the item in person, but then went on to change their response to the fraud prevention questions, so that their payment would process.

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander said: “Fraudsters can be incredibly manipulative. The fact that in just a few months hundreds of customers felt the need to attempt to sidestep our fraud prevention measures by changing their answer so they could proceed with the purchase, goes to show the level of pressure that these criminals are placing on unsuspecting victims."

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Santander data shows 7,950 customers were initially prevented from making a payment, but then subsequently confirmed that they had seen the item in person, meaning the payment was made. Of this group, 240 customers then went on to report that they had fallen victim to a purchase scam.

439 people in total fell victim to a scam on Facebook Marketplace, losing a total of £284,000, an average of £647 per person. Of the 439 customers who fell victim to a scam, 263 were customers who changed their answer. Santander tips to protect yourself include shopping local and in person, not letting someone rush you into buying an item and not sending funds by bank transfer or PayPal ‘Friends and Family’.

Any attempts to communicate outside of an official site like Facebook Marketplace should also be treated with suspicion. They may be doing this to avoid a written record on the platform of their scam.