Mobile phone fraud: ‘They stole £22,500 using my banking app’

Mobile phone fraud: ‘They stole £22,500 using my banking app’

Mobile phone fraud: ‘They stole £22,500 using my banking app’

A pickpocket took Jacopo de Simone’s mobile phone and used his banking apps to steal £22,500.

He said his bank investigated but found him liable for the losses so he is still fighting to get the money back.

He is just one victim of the growing threat of mobile phone fraud and banks need to do more to tackle it, according to charity the Fraud Advisory Panel.

UK Finance, which represents 300 banks, said the industry was constantly monitoring fraud threats.

Criminals are stealing mobiles not for the device but to try to access finance apps to steal thousands of pounds, the Fraud Advisory Panel said.

Mr de Simone fell victim to the crime while walking around London Bridge in May 2022 when his phone was pickpocketed.

Because the device was locked and password protected, Mr de Simone said that initially, while he was upset his phone had been stolen, he didn’t think much more of it until the morning after when he checked his online banking.

“I found both my current account and savings accounts had been drained of £22,500. I was completely shocked. I didn’t know how this was possible.

“I don’t access my phone using a pin code – I use facial recognition. My Barclays pin is different to my phone pin and they’d need to have both of them.”

He phoned Barclays and also reported it to the police.

He said Barclays told him it would do an internal fraud investigation which later resulted in Mr de Simone being held liable for all the losses.

“They could not identify a point of compromise from the back end – to them it looked like the pin had been entered.

“The only thing they could suggest was that someone knew the code therefore it’s gross negligence on my part apparently.

“I was totally in shock, incredibly unsettled and you just think these things get resolved quite quickly,” he said.

After eight months of evidence gathering and dealing with the police, an investigator at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) upheld Mr de Simone’s complaint against Barclays which now, if it disagrees with this, has the opportunity to ask the ombudsman to examine the case.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “We have no higher priority than the protection of our customers’ funds and data. Our online banking services and the Barclays app are secure and safe to use.

“They undergo rigorous forms of testing, including independent testing, and have been continually recognised for their security and quality.

“This particular claim is currently with the Financial Ombudsman Service and we await the outcome.”


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