Crime Bytes – Banks are not liable in most vishing frauds, warns Financial Ombudsman Service

Voice phishing (commonly referred to as vishing) is the criminal practice of using social engineering over the phone to gain access to victims’ personal and financial information in order to defraud them. Fraudsters often pose as bank staff or police officers, and can use clever techniques such as manipulating Caller ID and staying on the line after victims think they have hung up. According to Financial Fraud Action, this type of scam cost customers approximately £24 million last year.


In a recent report published by the Financial Ombudman Service (FOS) they have warned that in nearly two-thirds of vishing cases banks were not responsible for their victims financial loss, leaving the victims out of pocket. The FOS also found that 80% of victims who were successfully targeted were over 55, making this age group potentially four times more likely to be caught out by this type of scam.


One of the most consistently challenging areas of our work is dealing with people who have been affected by financial fraud. These are extremely cruel and convincing deceptions and consumers are tricked into believing they are protecting their money, when in fact it is being stolen. 

Scammers are relying on people’s vulnerability and vishing is particularly insidious in exploiting this. This is why we really want to share what we are seeing in the complaints we handle and encourage people to get talking about scams with their friends and relatives so they become more alert to the risks – stopping the fraudsters in their tracks.”


Caroline Wayman, Chief Ombusman


To learn more about our research around fraud or other areas of crime and security, please click here. For further information about vishing or if you think you may have been a victim, please visit the Action Fraud website to find out how to report it.

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