Fraud worth nearly £95m was prevented last year thanks to a dedicated police unit run alongside the UK’s financial industry.
The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit comprises police officers from the City of London and Met forces as well as bank investigators and support staff from industry group UK Finance.
Last year’s figure of £94.5m is the highest annual total yet, and it means that £600m of fraudulent losses have been prevented since the unit started work in 2002.
During 2018, the unit secured 48 convictions and disrupted 11 organised crime groups. It arrested 164 suspects and found more than 30,000 compromised card numbers – a 65% increase on the previous year. Assets worth £340,000 were seized and compensation of £176,000 was paid to victims.
Det Chief Insp Glyn Whittick, who heads the unit, 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, of UK Finance, said the collaboration was an “excellent” demonstration of what could be achieved when resources were pulled together.
She added: “Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated techniques. 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.”