New anti-scam’ effort stops £1.2m bank fraud

The Gosport sundial where the attack happened. Photo: Peter V. Facey

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POLICE have managed to scupper fraudsters’ plans to snatch almost £1.2m from residents across Hampshire thanks to a new bank scheme.

Officers from the county’s police force made eight arrests, preventing £1,186,827 being siphoned from victim’s accounts after the introduction of the Banking Protocol scheme.

The initiative is aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch.

Since it was introduced by Hampshire Constabulary in June 2017, 149 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to through the scheme.

Developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and Trading Standards, the protocol enables bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch.

Nationally, the scheme has led to 197 arrests, stopping frauds worth a total value of £25m. Police have also attended 3,682 emergency calls since the rollout of the initiative.