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This week’s roundup includes news that fraudsters are targeting the Thomas Cook refund site, house price growth is at a six-year low and Barclays has opted out of its agreement with the Post Office to allow customers to withdraw cash and money. 

Fraudsters ‘target Thomas Cook refund site’

Scammers are suspected of making fraudulent claims on a website set up to refund Thomas Cook customers, the Civil Aviation Authority has said. 

The aviation regulator said it has taken urgent action over the suspicious online activity and will notify the police. 

It has added further verification checks to its refund process, it said. 

A spokesman said that Thomas Cook customers themselves were also being targeted by fraudsters. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is administering refunds from the ATOL travel fund, an insurance levy collected from travel firms. 

It is understood to be concerned by a series of low-level claims which could indicate fraud. 

The regulator said it would seek prosecutions where there was evidence of deception. 

The CAA also warned some fraudulent claims management websites had been set up, echoing warnings made by consumer group Which? on Friday. 

It said that Thomas Cook customers should only make claims directly through its dedicated website. 

House price growth at six-year low, says the Halifax

House prices are rising at the slowest annual pace for more than six years, according to the Halifax. 

The mortgage lender, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said prices rose 1.1% in the year to the end of September, the slowest rate since April 2013. 

Price growth would remain subdued for as long as economic uncertainty in the UK continued, the Halifax said. 

The cost of the average home in September was £232,574, down by 0.4% compared with August, it said. 

Any stagnating or falling prices will be welcomed by first-time buyers, many of whom feel that the cost of owning a home in some parts of the country is out of reach. 

However, the housing market is far from uniform across the UK, with a wide range of prices for similar properties, and the affordability difficulties for many come when trying to secure a mortgage. 

The Halifax, which uses house price figures based on its own lending data, said that prices had been predominantly flat in recent months. 

This mirrors the results of a string of other housing surveys, with rival lender the Nationwide saying a week ago that house prices in September almost ground to a halt. 

Russell Galley, Managing Director of the Halifax, said, "Looking ahead, we expect activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists." 

Barclays blow to Post Office banking 

Barclays is facing criticism for opting out of part of the agreement banks have with Post Offices to allow customers to withdraw cash and deposit money. 

The move is seen as a threat to efforts to provide services to communities that have seen branches and ATMs disappear. 

Barclays will let its customers deposit money, but not withdraw cash from a Post Office counter using a debit card. 

Consumer association Which? says it is a shocking decision which exposes the fragility of the UK's cash system. 

The Payment Systems Regulator, which oversees the cash system, warned it was concerned about the impact, while Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, called the decision unjustifiable. 

The Post Office has unveiled a new agreement with 28 banks and building societies, covering the three years from January and allowing for postmasters and post mistresses to be paid more to take in and dispense cash. 

Barclays is the only one to exclude cash withdrawals from its part of the agreement. 

Instead it says it will launch a cashback scheme at small businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km (0.6 miles).