Improved Banking Protocols help reduce fraudulent activity for vulnerable people
12 February 2019 by Susanne Grimwade
It is a sad fact the over 65s are three times more likely to lose money to fraudsters rather than to be burgled. A report from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies warns of the stigma felt by the victims about being cheated in this way leaving almost a third of such victims too embarrassed to inform their families or friends of these crimes.
The latest figures from Action Fraud have claimed that financial losses caused by cybercrime increased by 25% between the months of April and September last year which means cybercriminals were able to steal £34.6 million during this time.
In October 2016 new banking protocols were introduced in a bid to train banking staff to spot signs that a customer may be withdrawing cash to give to a scammer. Typical examples of fraud included withdrawal of funds to pay rogue builders, romance scams and elderly abuse. The protocol enables banking staff to contact the police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response. As a result of this initiative, cases are investigated quickly leading to an increased success rate in catching these criminals. An estimated £48 million has been saved from the hands of these criminals since 2016 with 408 successful arrests. In 2018 a reported 231 arrests were made, 4,230 emergency calls lodged leading to a saving of £38 million which would have otherwise been stolen.
Cybercrime, on the other hand, is much harder to detect. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator is based outside the UK and the process of gathering evidence for successful prosecution is very difficult and time-consuming.
If you are worried about an elderly relative who may be subject to fraudulent activity you can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website www.actionfarud.police.uk for further details.
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