Cheshire Police

A new rapid response scheme which alerts police to suspected fraud, has stopped seven potential victims aged over 70 being scammed.

The Banking Protocol, rolled out in Cheshire September, has prevented £33,000 of fraud in the county.

Nationally, it has stopped more than £9 million of potential fraud in its first year of operation, with 101 arrests.

It works by identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch.

The Banking Protocol, developed as a partnership between the finance industry, law enforcement and Trading Standards, enables bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with a rapid response to the branch.

Det Insp Alastair Hinze, of Cheshire Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “The Banking Protocol is already proving effective in Cheshire.

“Since we joined the scheme, over the past three months we have been able to help seven victims of fraud, all aged over 70.

“These crimes have included rogue traders, telephone banking scams and coercive behaviour, which could have collectively cost them a total of £33,200.

“Fraudsters are increasingly targeting elderly, vulnerable and lonely people to cheat them out of cash.

“This partnership between police, financial services and Trading Standards is really effective at tackling phone, online and doorstep crimes which can cause both financial and emotional harm.”

Nationally, in 12 months since the pilot was launched, the Banking Protocol has prevented £9.1 million of fraud, with individual customers protected from losing sums from £99 up to £212,000.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Fraud can have a devastating effect on some of the most susceptible people in society.

“It’s by working together with law enforcement, and others, that we can make a real difference when it matters most.”

UK Finance has coordinated the development and the implementation of the Banking Protocol.

Citizens Advice provides information about common scams, how to spot and report them and how to protect yourself from scams.

Visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams/

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