New figures released today show an estimated £94.5m of fraud was prevented in 2018 by a specialist anti-fraud police unit sponsored by the finance industry, the highest annual total to date.
This brings the unit’s total estimated savings from reduced fraud activity to £600 million since it was established in April 2002.
The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) tackles the organised criminal groups responsible for financial fraud and last year secured 48 convictions and disrupted 11 organised crime groups (OCGs). Collectively, over 58 years in prison were handed down to defendants in cases investigated by the DCPCU in the same period.
In addition, last year the unit arrested and interviewed under caution 164 suspects and recovered over 32,000 compromised card numbers, a 65% increase on the previous year.
It also seized £340,000 worth of assets and awarded £176,000 in compensation to victims, up from £162,000 the previous year.
Detective chief inspector Glyn Whittick, head of unit of the DCPCU, said: “The hard work of our officers and staff has prevented millions of pounds of fraud while refunding a substantial amount to victims. The dozens of convictions over the past 12 months demonstrate what can be achieved through close collaboration between police and the finance industry.
“The DCPCU will continue to target the criminal gangs involved in card and payment fraud and bring them to justice.”
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, added: “The DCPCU is an excellent example of the finance industry working with law enforcement to tackle fraud and the organised criminal groups responsible. This is part of a broader collaboration, as banks and police continue their joint determination to protect customers from the devastating impact of fraud.
“Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated techniques, and so it is vital that people follow the advice of our Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign. Always question any uninvited approaches to transfer money or give away your personal details in case they are a scam, and instead contact the company directly on a known phone number or email you can trust, such as the one on their official website.”