Nationwide scheme beating fraudsters - The Evesham Observer

Nationwide scheme beating fraudsters

Evesham Editorial 23rd Mar, 2020   0

A STAGGERING £100m worth of fraud often targeting vulnerable and elderly customers has been prevented through the Banking Protocol – a UK-wide scheme that enables bank branch staff to spot potential fraud victims and request an immediate police response.

The latest figures from UK Finance reveal 353 calls have been made through the rapid response scheme to West Mercia Police since its launch in the region in 2017 with an average of £5,806.44 of fraud being prevented per call.

The scheme has led to the arrest of 16 suspected fraudsters across our policing areas with the total value of £2,049,672 being prevented from being defrauded from customer’s accounts.

Det Sgt Jon Cooper from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said: “The Banking Protocol has demonstrated the opportunity for success which is possible when the police and private sector partners work together to protect victims of fraud.

“The Banking Protocol was introduced to crack down on scams in which customers are tricked into visiting their bank in person to withdraw money and hand it over to a criminal.

In West Mercia we have been targeted by ‘Courier Fraud’ and under the scheme developed in partnership between UK Finance, local police forces and National Trading Standards, bank branch staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to such a scam.

“The staff member can then invoke the Banking Protocol, leading the local police to send a priority response to the branch to investigate the suspected fraud and arrest any suspects still on the scene.

“The majority of victims being targeted are elderly and vulnerable people. The Banking Protocol also ensures that extra support is provided to customers identified through the scheme, to help prevent them from falling victim to similar scams in the future.

“While we have made a significant impact on organised crime groups targeting our elderly relatives and friends, I would encourage everyone to please be aware of the scams that can be very convincing and to please remember that the police will never contact you to discuss your money, bank accounts or ask you to withdraw money and give it to a courier.”

If you or someone you know has either been a victim of one of these telephone scams or any fraud or attempted fraud, report it immediately to Action Fraud at or call 0300 123 2040.


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