Police Scotland and banking sector scheme prevents nearly £5.5 million of fraud

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Police Scotland prevented almost £5.5 million of fraud and arrested 19 people through a joint initiative with the banking sector in 2018.

Aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims, most of whom are aged 65 or over, the Banking Protocol trains staff to spot when a customer is about to fall victim to a scam, often when asked to withdraw an unusually large sum of money.

The bank employee then contacts police and officers attend the branch, with a guaranteed priority response.

Figures for the rapid response scheme revealed 815 emergency calls were logged and responded to last year.

A total of £5,490,397 of fraud was prevented by stopping online and rogue trader scams in their tracks.

The Banking Protocol has been developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and Trading Standards.

As well as preventing individuals from becoming victims and allowing for the potential arrest of fraudsters, the initiative ensures customers are given advice on how to reduce their risk of falling for a scam in the future.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson, Police Scotland’s lead on specialist crime and intelligence, said: “The Banking Protocol has generated real tangible benefits to assist the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Through the commendable efforts by the banks involved in the protocol and the actions of the police officers responding, we have ensured that banking customers in Scotland have been protected from nearly £5.5 million of fraud in 2018.

“Police Scotland continues to invest in the Banking Protocol and will keep working with the financial sector to keep people safe from financial crime.”