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Hampshire banks stop more than £1m in scams over six months

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BANKING staff have successfully worked with Hampshire police to stop more than £1m of fraud during the first half of this year, the force has claimed.

Under the national Banking Protocol, branch employees at banks and post offices are trained to spot the signs of scams before alerting police to intervene.

Latest figures showed that staff invoked the Banking Protocol 103 times in Hampshire between January and June, saving potential victims an average of £9,869 each and leading to the arrest of seven suspects.

Employees at banks and post offices are trained to spot the signs of scams
Employees at banks and post offices are trained to spot the signs of scams

Det. Sgt Marcus Mills, of Hampshire Constabulary’s economic crime unit, said: "We want to remind local residents that a police officer would never call you and ask you for money. No one, not even someone from your bank, would call you and ask for your financial details or to withdraw cash

"These incidents can often have a significant impact on victims – both emotionally and financially – as they come to terms with the fact that they have fallen for a scam, and the financial losses that come with it.

"However, we are working with the banks to ensure that those individuals do not become repeat victims and that fraudsters can no longer take advantage of Hampshire residents."

The Banking Protocol, which was adopted in Hampshire in 2017, is often used to stop impersonation scams.

It is also used to prevent romance fraud, in which scammers use fake online dating profiles to trick victims into transferring money, and rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary property work.

Customers are offered ongoing support to prevent them from falling victim to scams in the future.

The scheme was launched by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and the police. Banks are continuing to work with police on expanding the process to cover attempted bank transfers made through telephone and online banking.

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