The scheme saw 202 emergency calls made in Sussex from January to June 2021, protecting customers from losing an average of £11,115 to criminals, Sussex Police said. It has also led to ten arrests.
The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme, launched by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces. Branch staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate.
It was rolled out by Sussex Police in June 2017. Since March 2018, the scheme has been implemented by all 45 police forces across the UK.
It is often used to prevent impersonation scams, in which criminals imitate police or bank staff and convince people to visit their bank and withdraw or transfer large sums of money. It is also used to prevent romance fraud, in which fraudsters use fake online dating profiles to trick victims into transferring money, and to catch rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on properties.
Customers assisted by the scheme are offered ongoing support to help prevent them from falling victim to scams in the future, including referrals to social services, expert fraud prevention advice and additional checks on future transactions.
Cases in Sussex include a scam where a woman tried to send an online payment of £2,500 to the USA to a friend she had previously…