More than £10m stolen in credit card and online banking fraud in the region

Online banking and credit card fraudsters stole more than £10 million from people in the West Midlands, it has been revealed, with the region seeing the third highest level of bank account fraud in the UK.

The West Midlands Police area saw the third highest level of bank account fraud in the UK between April last year and the end of March. analysed the latest data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau on 44 police forces/constabularies to establish which areas of the UK experienced the most cheque, plastic card and online bank account fraud causes.

Metropolitan Police had the highest number of cases at 4,224 followed by Greater Manchester Police at 1,332.

The 1,265 who fell prey to the crime in the West Midlands incurred a collective financial loss of £10.3 million – an average £8,142 for each case.

For West Mercia Police it was 320 (£1.8m) and Staffordshire Police 426 (£1.1m).

Overall, from 44 police forces in UK, there were 25,717 cases of cheque, plastic card, and online bank account fraud with the total financial loss victims suffered £161.2m.

Dyfed-Powys Police reported 146 occurrences of fraud. Despite having a low sum of incidents, the amassed financial loss was £558,100.

'Remain vigilant'

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “Sadly fraud affects all communities around the UK and the West Midlands is no exception.

“We live in a big, densely populated urban area and so it follows that more people are affected by these kind of crimes than they are in rural areas.

“I plan to work closely with the force to see what more can be done to tackle these scams and to bring the offenders to justice.

“I’d also urge people to remain vigilant and to report to police any scams they’re aware of.”

Advice from police is to use trusted numbers when contacting banks. If a bank does call you out the blue, confirm the details of the person speaking and call the trusted number using a different phone. A police officer or bank official would never ask you for your PIN, passwords or online banking login.

A police officer or bank official will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money towards an investigation, fraud team, safe account or later collection. And always check goods are genuine by seeing them in person before making a bank transfer, especially if they are high purchase goods.

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