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Police, banks foil £1.4m local fraud attempts

Created on 15/09/2021 @ 11:58


A new protocol which allows banks, building societies and Post Offices to questions large transactions if they suspect fraud has prevented over £1.4m from being stolen this year, according to Dyfed-Powys Police.

UK-wide, the scheme has prevented £174 million of fraud and led to 934 arrests since its launch in 2016.

Launched by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces the Banking Protocol trains branch staff to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate.

The latest figures reveal that branch staff invoked the Banking Protocol 57 times in the Dyfed-Powys Police area between January and June 2021, saving potential victims an average of £24,000 each.

It is often used to prevent impersonation scams, in which criminals imitate police or bank staff and convince people to visit their bank and withdraw or transfer large sums of money.

It is also used to prevent romance fraud, in which fraudsters use fake online dating profiles to trick victims into transferring money, and to catch rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on properties.

Customers assisted by the scheme are offered ongoing support to help prevent them from falling victim to scams in the future, including referrals to social services, expert fraud prevention advice and additional checks on future transactions.

Paul Callard, Dyfed-Powys Police’s Economic Crime Team Manager said: “Fraud is a crime that very often targets the more vulnerable members of our community and the psychological and financial impact upon victims can be traumatic, sometimes even life-changing. The Banking Protocol has proven to be a fantastic initiative. It allows us to identify vulnerable fraud victims at an early stage and, working with Partner Agencies, we are able to prevent further financial loss and provide support to help victims break the link with the criminals that have been targeting them.”

To build on the success of the scheme, banks and building societies are continuing to work with local police forces on expanding the process to cover attempted bank transfers made by customers through telephone and online banking.


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