A scheme running in the Thames Valley has prevented £602,000 of fraud.
The Banking Protocol, is a ground-breaking scheme aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch.
Since it was introduced by Thames Valley Police in February 2018, a total of 73 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to through the scheme.
A number of arrests have been made, a number of investigations are ongoing to bring these people to justice, and the scheme has stopped £602,000 of innocent victim’s savings from falling into criminal hands.
Developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and Trading Standards, the Banking Protocol enables bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch. Branch staff, call handlers, police and trading standards officers in each area have all been trained in the Banking Protocol and the steps that need to be taken when a customer is at risk.
Across the country the Banking Protocol has now led to a total of 197 arrests and prevented almost £25m in fraud, while 3,682 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to through the scheme.
As well as stopping fraud taking place, the scheme ensures a consistent response to potential victims and gives them extra support to prevent them becoming a victim in the future.
UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Banking Protocol, with support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce.
Detective Inspector Duncan Wynn, head of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said “We aim to make the Thames Valley an area where serious and organised criminals are unable to conduct their business and target vulnerable individuals within our communities.
“The Banking Protocol is a fantastic example of our strong partnership working which protects victims, safeguards their finances and also ensures that criminals do not benefit from their crimes. £602,000 would have been a significant economic loss to those victims”.
“In addition to this, the Banking Protocol means we identify vulnerable victims early and put measures in place to prevent them being a victim to further scams, so the loss prevented in the long term will actually be much more than the £602,000.”