Partnership work between banks and police helps tackle fraud
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We are urging people to stop and take five in the combat against fraudsters in Essex.
UK Finance has confirmed that the Banking Protocol – a scheme launched in 2016 between banks and police forces nationally – has saved £100miliion from the pockets of criminals.
The scheme enables bank staff to spot potential fraud victims and request an immediate police response.
These include incidents were elderly and vulnerable people are cold called and taken to banks where they are told to withdraw thousands and pounds after receiving guidance from fraudsters.
Occasionally, they will pose as police officers who claim to be investigating corruption within the bank itself or within their accounts.
Since March 2018, the scheme has been implemented by all forces in UK.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, head of Serious Economic and Cyber Crime, said: “We welcome the news that the banking protocol is helping to protect our communities most vulnerable and their savings.
“We’ve had some fantastic responses with fraudsters arrested in banks while committing crimes.
“There are times when people withdraw their own cash after receiving a call from a person impersonating police.
“We know occasionally the crooks have successfully tricked people into handing over their hard earned cash. One crime is one too many.
“I would urge people to challenge those requesting money of you and to never give out your bank details, regardless of who people they say they are.”
Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime, UK Finance, said: “By working closely with police, we are striking a blow against the unscrupulous criminals who prey on elderly and vulnerable customers.
“These kinds of scams can have a devastating emotional impact on victims and so partnerships like the Banking Protocol are crucial to protect the public and bring those responsible to justice.
“Intervening early and educating customers to prevent these scams from happening means we can stop money getting into the hands of criminals in the first place.
“Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money and remember that a bank or the police will never ask you to transfer funds to a ‘safe account’ or to withdraw cash to hand over to them for safe-keeping.”
If you have been a victim of fraud or know someone who has, please call 101 or report information by visiting www.essex.police.uk. Please call 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or you can report fraud to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.