Under the Banking Protocol scheme, branch staff are trained to detect the warning signs that someone is being scammed and make an emergency call to the police. Police will then visit the branch to investigate the suspected fraud and arrest any suspects still on the scene.
The scheme has now prevented £116 million in scams since it was introduced three years ago.
The Banking Protocol allows bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with police making an immediate priority response to the branch. This can prevent customers from falling victim to fraud, while allowing police to catch the fraudsters in the act.
Over 100 suspected fraudsters were arrested through the initiative in the first half of this year. These range from rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on people’s property, to courier scam fraudsters who persuade their victims take out a large sum of cash and hand it over to someone posing as a courier.
Customers would first be asked by the bank to visit their local branch to complete the transaction, enabling branch staff to carry out additional checks and use the Banking Protocol if necessary. However, if the customer is unable to visit their bank branch, for example if they are vulnerable or have a disability, staff would be able to directly alert the local police who will make a visit to the customer’s home and assess whether they have fallen victim to a scam.
These scams will only stop when the banks make it too difficult for them to succeed.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.