Banking Protocol scheme prevents £300,000 of fraud in one month
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More than £300,000 of potential fraud was prevented in November thanks to a response scheme between banks and the police.
The Banking Protocol trains bank staff to spot when someone is about to fall victim to a scam and try and prevent them from withdrawing cash to give a fraudster, after which they can request an immediate police response to the branch.
In November, the Banking Protocol was activated 23 times in the Hampshire Constabulary area. This stopped a total of £310,725 falling into the hands of fraudsters.
The figure is the highest monthly total of money stopped through the Banking Protocol in the force area this year.
On Monday 11 November, we received a report that an 82-year-old woman from New Milton had been called by someone claiming to be from the ‘Visa Fraud Department’.
The caller claimed that there had been fraudulent activity on the victim’s bank account. He asked her to go to her bank and transfer £4,000 of her savings into another account for safeguarding.
When the woman went to her bank, staff suspected it might be a scam and the matter was reported to the police. No money was lost.
Hampshire Constabulary was one of the first forces in the UK to use the scheme in June 2017.
Since then, millions of pounds have been saved, including £1.4million in 2018.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Dring, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Volume Fraud Investigation Team, said: “This is the highest monthly total we have seen in 2019 and I would like to thank bank staff for their vigilance.
“It is very important that bank staff can recognise the signs that someone may be the victim of a scam and call us. Often the victims do not know they are being scammed so these interventions are vital.
“As well as banking staff, we can all do our bit to protect people from fraudsters by being aware of common scams and telling those who may be more vulnerable.
“Banks, the HMRC, police or any other authority figures will never contact you by telephone and ask you for bank details or ask you to transfer money.
“If someone calls you in this way, it is a scam. Hang up, and use a different phone line to call 101 and report it immediately.”