Fraud advice given to bank customers in Canterbury
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Fraud prevention advice was given to bank customers in Canterbury by specialist staff from Kent Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
The force’s Prevent and Protect officers Steve Kelly and Emma Swietochowski-Hay visited the HSBC branch in Rose Lane on Friday 18 March 2022, where he shared information on the latest methods being used by criminals to trick people into handing over their hard-earned cash.
Bank staff are trained to spot the warning signs of fraud such as elderly or vulnerable people drawing out large sums of money, and many work closely with Kent Police to help protect as many people as possible.
The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme that enables bank staff to alert their local police force when they suspect a customer is being scammed. Police may then visit the branch to investigate and in some instances arrest suspects still on the scene.
‘Not everyone has the internet or family members who can warn them about the latest frauds in circulation, and by the time they find out it is often too late. That is why it is so important that we visit banks and give talks at local clubs and associations, to help ensure potential victims are not tricked into handing their money over to people who do not deserve it.
‘Many scams have been intercepted as a result of this partnership approach and I am very grateful to the staff at HSBC for allowing me to come and share this important information with their customers.
‘Our message is to remember the ABC rule to help protect yourself and others against fraud – never Assume someone is telling the truth or Believe what they say unless you are confident of their identity, and always Confirm the details they have provided.’
One of the most common techniques used by fraudsters is to cold-call a victim pretending to be a police officer, and asking them to assist in an investigation by withdrawing large quantities of money that they claim to be counterfeit. They then either escort the victim to the bank or send a courier to collect the money after it has been withdrawn.
Education and awareness
Lucy Kirkbride, HSBC UK Canterbury branch Network Manager, said:
‘Education and awareness are key in helping protect customers from unscrupulous fraudsters, and we were delighted to welcome members of the Kent Police Prevent and Protect Fraud team to our branch this week.
‘Fraudsters are unscrupulous criminals, often posing as trustworthy organisations to encourage you to hand over personal or financial information. We see a lot of scams where customers are told their account has been compromised, or the bank can’t be trusted, and to move their money to a ‘safe account’. Your bank will never ask you to share passwords or your PIN, or move your money. Our advice to people is to ‘Take Five’ and to stop and think – does this feel right? If in doubt, call your bank on the number shown on the back of your debit card.’