During January 2024 alone there were 23 calls to police which prevented Herts residents losing £472,000.
The scammers’ targeted:
A 77-year-old from Hemel Hempstead who had fallen prey to an investment scam and was attempting to transfer £10,000 to fraudsters.
An 83-year-old from Welwyn Garden City was stopped from sending £5,000 to fraudsters in an impersonation scam.
An 84-year-old from Bishops Stortford was subject of an purchase scam and was stopped from handing over £12,000.
A 74-year-old from Stevenage was attempting to hand over £23,000 to rogue traders before the Banking Protocol triggered the banks and police to respond.
Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Fraud Triage Manager, Julian Griffiths, said: “Fraudsters will often try to scam potential victims by persuading them to withdraw large sums of cash from their local bank branch and hand it over to them. This is because they know that once they have the cash it can be difficult to trace and return it. These scams can involve anything from rogue builders offering to do bogus work on your driveway to sophisticated fraudsters claiming that your bank account has been compromised and must be emptied to stop your money being stolen. However, what all these scams have in common is that they tend to target the most vulnerable in our society, including elderly victims who are particularly at risk.
“If you are questioned by bank staff, please do not take offence. This is part of scheme designed to protect you and your money from fraudsters.”
Banking Protocol was established in 2017 as a response to a significant increase in vulnerable adults becoming victims of fraud. It's a collaboration between financial institutions, UK Finance, Trading Standards and the police with four key aims:
Identify victims of fraud using the banking system
Arrest of fraudsters
Since 1 April 2023, Hertfordshire Police have responded to 243 calls for assistance made under the Banking Protocol scheme which has prevented loss of £1.1million from fraud.