Pilot scheme uses proceeds of crime to fight fraud

·2 min read

A pilot scheme launched by a major bank and the police is using the proceeds of crime to fight fraud and support victims.

The first tranche of money seized amounts to around £7 million, Lloyds Banking Group said.

It has joined forces with the City of London Police, to use the proceeds of crime to invest in projects protecting against fraud and supporting victims.

The “frozen” cash is made up of money captured from fraudsters by the bank’s specialist mule hunting team.

Money mules allow criminals to move cash generated by crimes using their bank accounts. The team rapidly analyses data to spot the signs of money mule behaviour.

Lloyds said it has shared this intelligence with others in the industry and returned millions to victims of fraud, although it said it is not always possible to directly reunite victims with their cash.

One initiative that will benefit from the pilot scheme is the National Economic Crime Victim Care Unit (NECVCU) run by the City of London Police, which provides one-to-one phone support, advice and aftercare to victims.

The money will also be invested into projects to protect those who are most vulnerable to fraud, including an initiative run by Age UK. The charity’s scams prevention and support programme will help older people increase their knowledge and confidence in recognising and dealing with attempted scams.

Philip Robinson, retail fraud prevention director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “This initial funding will not only provide vital additional support to more victims, but also enable us to work closely with City of London Police and other organisations shaping future fraud prevention initiatives across the UK.”

Clinton Blackburn, temporary commander, City of London Police, said: “The pilot scheme with Lloyds Banking Group is an innovative example of how through collaborative working we can improve the whole system approach to targeting the threat of economic and cyber crime.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director, Age UK, said: “In England and Wales an older person becomes a victim of fraud every 40 seconds – that’s more than 800,000 older people every year. Scams can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on older victims, seriously damaging their quality of life and wellbeing.”

She added: “We are incredibly grateful for this funding which will help us – through our local Age UK network – to support those across the country who are most vulnerable to fraud and reduce the number of older people becoming victims of financial crime.”

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