A ground-breaking scheme has already stopped more than £200,000 of potential fraud in Herts in its first seven months.
The Banking Protocol, is a partnership between the finance industry, law enforcement and Trading Standards, which allows bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, leading to a rapid response to the branch.
Herts was one of the first parts of the UK to adopt the scheme and, nationally, it has prevented £9.1million-worth of fraud with individual customers protected from losing sums from £99 up to £212,000.
Several of the cases in Herts have involved older people who were looking to send money to people they believed they were having an online relationship with. In one instance, the 74-year-old victim was attempting to send £110,000 to Ghana. Rogue Trading offences have also been identified with one victim being charged £500 to have her lawn mown and another being charged £6,000 for a new driveway. Courier fraud incidents have also been prevented.
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 and it’s by working together with law enforcement, and others, that we can make a real difference when it matters most. The Banking Protocol is a great example of this collaboration in action protecting people from becoming victims. The finance industry is determined to crack down on fraud and is taking action on all fronts.”