We recognise that fraud is increasingly sophisticated and has a devastating impact on victims.

In addition to having advanced methods for deterring, detecting and preventing financial crime, we seek to educate our customers about the types of scams we know to exist so they can protect themselves and their loved ones. We were among the first signatories of the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) Code, introducing new standards for minimising the number of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams and reducing their impact on customers. In fact, we are the only digital bank to sign up to the Code, which is governed by the Lending Standards Board (LSB).

What controls do you have in place/how do we protect you?

We’re a digital bank, so it’s no great surprise that technology is central to what we do – fraud controls included. Nothing is more important to us than keeping our customers safe. To accomplish this, our expert fraud team has put in place a series of sophisticated, automated controls. Some of these have to remain confidential, but others include:

  • Identity and verification checks, including video verification and anti-impersonation measures, during your onboarding process
  • In-app card controls, allowing you to take control of card functionality. For example, freezing your card if you think you’ve lost it, or restricting transactions to gambling companies
  • The use of 3D secure, providing an extra layer of security when you use your debit card online
  • Introducing contactless payment limits inline with the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2)
  • Real-time fraud prevention systems which monitor all faster payments to safeguard your money, 24/7. Should we notice anything unusual, we might contact you via an in app message
  • Helpful in-app prompts during transactions, prompting customers to consider whether the person they are paying is legitimate
  • Multi-factor authentication, such as one-time passwords
  • Real-time alerts of transactions/declined transactions
  • Confirmation of Payee to ensure that when you pay someone, it's the right person or business that receives it

What do you do to educate your customers to ensure they are fully aware of the latest fraud trends/advice?

We’re on a mission to protect our customers from fraud and to help them protect themselves. We have produced a dedicated series of blog posts and social media content, informing customers how to stay safe from fraudsters and what to look out for. Some of the ways we do this include:

  • Top tips on avoiding fraud on our website. We regularly update this when we become aware of new scams and tactics fraudsters employ to defraud people of their hard earned money. Take a look at our tips to avoid fraud
  • Supporting the National Take Five Campaign, the government-backed fraud awareness campaign
  • Regular financial crime blog posts, including seasonal updates at higher risk times of the year, such as around Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Regular customer emails containing key links to information around how we protect you, common threats, and how to protect yourself
  • Occasionally we might utilise in-app messaging to contact customers, or make them aware of an issue they might be impacted by. For example, if we think a customer’s debit card might have been compromised, we will assess the risk to them, and inform them of any decisions made/changes to their account
  • Social media activity to raise awareness of different scam types, across all our social media channels, plus we share fraud prevention messaging from Take Five or Action Fraud
  • Staff training on hot topics, such as Authorised Push Payment scams and internal communications to assist customers and non-customers signposting to helpful websites
  • Helpful in-app prompts during transactions, prompting customers to consider whether the person they are paying is legitimate

How and when we would contact our customers


We contact our customers in a number of different ways:

  • in-app messaging
  • phone calls
  • effective in-app warnings
  • email
  • one-time passcodes for 3DS via SMS


When our fraud prevention systems find something we think is unusual, we will take action immediately and endeavour to contact customers within 24 hours of noticing potentially high-risk behaviour on their accounts, or if we require any additional information. We also aim to reply to customer queries regarding account status within 24 working hours.

By acting quickly, we’re helping to ensure accounts are as safe as possible.

We always advise customers take the necessary precautions to ensure they are talking to who they think they are - we will never phone customers requesting any of the following:

  • security information
  • one-time passcodes via SMS
  • ask you to transfer money to a ’safe account’
  • If customers are unsure whether a message is genuine, they can call us immediately on the number on the back of their debit card

Here are the initiatives and collaborations we’re members of:

  • UK Finance - we take an active part in all Industry Fraud initiatives
  • CIFAS, the UK’s largest cross-sector fraud-sharing platform
  • FinTech Financial Crime Exchange, a network of FinTechs who collaborate on best - practices in financial crime risk management
  • SIRA, a comprehensive fraud prevention and detection database

We collaborate with:

  • law enforcement bodies
  • the TakeFive initiative
  • other financial institutions, sharing intelligence with the rest of the industry to protect customers
  • the Confirmation of Payee initiative, a tool that will help further protect customers from Authorised Push Payment scams

We help to fund:

  • the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (via membership of other bodies)

We are a signatory of or have committed to:

  • the APP Scams Voluntary Code - which commits us to combatting and responding to APP scams

We want to protect and educate our customers – the more power they have, the less power fraudsters have. We work hard to combat fraud, and our team works 24/7. We make a point of contacting those affected by financial crime within 24hrs, ensuring they are always up to date.

Starling builds smart money-management tools to help our customers feel more in control of their finances and more engaged with managing their bank account – this empowerment is a big part of helping them stay safe.

Apply for a Starling bank account today and enjoy app-based banking at its best.

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