DCPCU prevents £94.5 million of fraud

An estimated £94.5 million of fraud was prevented in 2018, thanks to the work of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), the highest annual total to date. It also secured 48 convictions and disrupted 11 organised crime groups (OCGs).

The DCPCU is a specialist police unit sponsored by the finance industry and supported by UK Finance, and was established in 2002 to target organised criminal groups responsible for financial fraud.

This includes card-not-present (CNP) fraud, insider fraud - corrupt employees who assist organised crime groups to defraud victim bank accounts ? and social engineering frauds such as authorised push payment (APP) scams.

Sending a strong message
The latest figures clearly show the work of the DCPCU is paying off. One particular case involved a man who lived an extraordinarily lavish lifestyle financed by fraud, travelling first class and spending vast sums on jewellery. He bought card numbers from the dark web but also used stolen data from high-end hotels and used social engineering techniques to bypass banks? security measures, enabling him to access vast funds using the compromised credit card details.

Following a DCPCU investigation, he was arrested at Heathrow airport, sentenced to two years? imprisonment and subsequently deported - sending a strong message to anyone considering similar actions that they will be caught and punished.

But the work of the DCPCU is not just about the criminals. £176,000 was awarded in compensation to fraud victims in 2018, while 32,000 compromised card numbers were recovered - a 65 per cent increase on 2017 figures. The hard work of officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces, industry fraud investigators and staff has prevented millions of pounds of fraud while refunding substantial sums to victims.

The impact of close cooperation
These results show that close cooperation between the finance industry and law enforcement has had a huge impact on the way we tackle fraud and organised criminal groups and demonstrates how these efforts can better protect vulnerable people from becoming victims of economic crime.

We would recommend that people question unsolicited approaches to transfer money - being asked to be a ?money mule? - or demands for their personal or financial details, or calls from someone claiming to be from their bank or other trusted people such as police officers. UK Finance's Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign helps to raise awareness of how consumers can better protect themselves from fraudsters.

New and innovative approaches
Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated techniques and the finance industry recognises that it needs to remain vigilant and be adaptable to changes in the tactics criminal gangs use. Banks and police are constantly working collaboratively to protect customers from the impact of fraud with new and innovative approaches.

These include the Banking Protocol, which trains bank staff to identify wrongdoing and swiftly alert local police, and has been another significant partnership between the finance industry and law enforcement to root out financial fraud.

While we are making great strides, we are not complacent and recognise that more can still be done in the fight against economic crime. The DCPCU will continue to work closely with the finance industry to target the criminal gangs involved in card and payment fraud and bring them to justice.

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