In total, the scheme has prevented £174 million of fraud and led to 934 arrests since its launch in 2016.
The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme, launched by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces. Branch staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate.
The latest figures reveal that branch staff invoked the Banking Protocol 57 times in the Dyfed-Powys Police area between January and June 2021, saving potential victims an average of £24,000 each.
The Banking Protocol was rolled out by Dyfed-Powys Police in 2017 and since March 2018, the scheme has been implemented by all 45 police forces across the UK.
It is often used to prevent impersonation scams, in which criminals imitate police or bank staff and convince people to visit their bank and withdraw or transfer large sums of money. It is also used to prevent romance fraud, in which fraudsters use fake online dating profiles to trick victims into transferring money, and to catch rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on properties.
Paul Callard, Dyfed-Powys Police’s Economic Crime Team Manager said: —
“Fraud is a crime that very often targets the more vulnerable members of our community and the psychological and financial impact upon victims can be traumatic, sometimes even life-changing. The Banking Protocol has proven to be a fantastic initiative. It allows us to identify vulnerable fraud victims at an early stage and, working with Partner Agencies, we are able to prevent further financial loss and provide support to help victims break the link with the criminals that have been targeting them.”