A UK wide scheme to protect vulnerable victims of fraud has prevented over a million pounds worth of fraud in Derbyshire alone.
The Banking Protocol was launched in 2016 and has prevented in the region of £100 million of fraud nationally since its introduction.
The protocol was developed to crack down on scams in which customers are tricked into visiting their bank in person to withdraw money and hand it over to criminals.
Bank branch staff are trained, as part of the scheme, to recognise the warning signs that a customer may be a potential victim of such a scam.
Staff can invoke the Banking Protocol If they suspect a customer is being scammed which sends an alert to police who will attend the branch as a priority response.
The protocol was developed in partnership between UK Finance, police forces and Trading Standards and has been in place in Derbyshire since June 2017.
Derbyshire Fraud Protect Officer, Tammy Barnes said:
“The Banking Protocol is a hugely important scheme in terms of preventing fraud.
“Almost 400 calls have been made to Derbyshire Constabulary since the scheme was rolled out in 2017, preventing in the region of £1,164,052 of fraud.
“This breaks down to an average of £2,924 of fraud being prevented per call. There have also been 17 arrests related to the banking protocol being employed in the county.
“Fraudsters often deliberately target those who are elderly and vulnerable, and having trained staff available to recognise when this might be happening within banks ensures that we can add an extra layer of protection for those who most need it.
“If you have elderly or vulnerable friends or relatives, I would urge you to talk to them about this type of fraud and the questions they may get asked when they visit their bank and why.
“If you suspect you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact police using one of the following methods.”
Facebook – send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter – direct message @DerPolContact
Website – complete the online contact form www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
Phone – call 101.