Banks Should Stop Refunding Victims of Online Fraud, Says Met Police Head

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Britain’s most senior police officer has called for banks to stop refunding victims of online fraud, as it apparently ‘rewards’ them for being careless about internet security. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe this week said that customers are being ‘rewarded for bad behaviour’, and that the current system was ‘not incentivising you to protect yourself.’

In an interview with The Times, he said, “If you are continually rewarded for bad behaviour you will probably continue to do it, but if the obverse is true you might consider changing behaviour. The system is not incentivising you to protect yourself. If someone said to you, 'If you've not updated your software I will give you half back', you would do it.”

It’s a ruthless and extremely controversial outlook. Though crap passwords and easy-to-crack security codes are still frighteningly popular, if the onus was put on customers, what would be the motivation for banks to continue to keep their security tight if they didn’t have to pay out refunds?

In July, cybercrime incidents will be included in official crime statistics for the first time, and Sir Bernard believes that figures will double with the move. Worryingly, according to reports, the police pursue less than one in 100 cases of fraud and, of the more than three million cases of fraud reported in a period of 12 months, only 9,000 convictions were made. Sir Bernard, back to the drawing board with you. [Times via Guardian]