Vulnerable People Saved From Fraud By Improved Banking Protocols

Following the retraining of bank staff to spot potentially fraudulent activity or customers that appear to have been targeted by fraudsters, an estimated £48 million has been prevented from reaching unscrupulous criminals according to UK Finance.

The new banking protocols, introduced in October of 2016, ensured that staff were confident and adept at spotting signs and patterns commonly associated with fraudulent activity.

In many cases the police are notified, the cases are investigated quickly which has led to increased success in catching the criminals.

Since the scheme’s inception in 2016, 408 successful arrests have been made and £48 million was saved from criminal clutches.

On average, this has saved targeted victims of fraud around £9,000 each. In many cases, this means that vulnerable people and elderly individuals have kept hold of savings that may otherwise have been stolen.

Furthermore, in the last year, increased staff awareness has led to the arrests of 231 alleged fraudsters and 4,230 emergency calls being lodged, highlighting the increased proactivity of banking staff that has saved over £38 million in 2018 alone.

When the average age of banking customers affected by fraud and saved by the banks is 71, the importance of protecting vulnerable members of society becomes clear.

TSB building society recently highlighted a case that saved the intended victim of vishing fraud £19,000.

A telephone fraudster, impersonating officials from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), had conversed with the elderly individual, claiming that they owe a tax bill of £50,000.

The threat of being sentenced for tax evasion and sent to prison, prompted the individual to enter a TSB branch and withdraw £19,000 of their savings.

Savvy staff members were quick to notice the distressed customer, taking them aside, asking the relevant questions and preventing the fraud from succeeding.

Whilst it is certainly comforting to know that banks are taking a more combative approach to fraud prevention, the latest figures from Action Fraud have claimed that financial losses caused by cyber crime increased by 25% between the months of April and September.

Worryingly, this means that cyber criminals were able to successfully steal £34.6 million during this time.

According to the report, 13,357 people in the UK reported cyber crimes during this six-month period.

Email attacks and impersonation attacks through social media made up more than a third of the total attacks in 2018. This equates to a loss of £14.8 million spread across 5,000 individuals and businesses.

Does your business have protocols in place to help your employees identify signs of fraud? Is enough being done by banks and wider society to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals?