A new initiative, the Banking Protocol, has seen the police team up with banks to try and stop vulnerable victims of fraud withdrawing large sums of money.
It was implemented in Nottinghamshire in May 2017 and to the end of December 2017, this has resulted in preventing £280,054.50 from being paid to scammers with 45 reports through the banking protocol system.
Last month alone the force received 12 reports with £104,050 protected, making it significantly higher than previous months.
Detective Inspector Yvonne Dales said: “I am truly staggered by these results and would like to give huge thanks to everyone involved in the process. We now have a great working relationship with our local banks who clearly understand the key part they play in preventing fraud.
“Our control room staff and fraud officers have really carried this through by acting quickly and appropriately in safeguarding the victim and prevent them from financial loss. A real team effort and a huge success.”
The victims involved are nearly always elderly and having been identified as vulnerable, the fraud team can then put measures in place to help prevent them from falling victim to any future scams.
Nationally, in the 12 months since the pilot was launched until the end of October 2017, the Banking Protocol has prevented £9.1 million of fraud, with individual customers protected from losing sums from £99 up to £212,000. So far, the scheme has led to 101 arrests being made across the country, with police responding to a total of 1262 Banking Protocol calls.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “Fraud, probably the fastest rising type of crime in the country, causes real financial and emotional harm to victims. Sadly, vulnerable and elderly people in particular are being targeted and tricked into handing over large sums of money, sometimes their lifetime savings, for no good reason. The success of The Banking Protocol is a really positive step forward. It shows how well different agencies can work together and all the staff and officers involved should rightly be proud of their work.
“We will also continue to raise awareness of the problem and inform people how they can protect themselves, their family and friends from becoming victims of fraudsters. And finally, if you suspect that you or someone else is at risk, please report it to the police straightaway.”
To report a scam, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or click here.