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Heroes at our Stafford Branch prevent a £15k scam

30 September 2020

We’re committed to making your banking experience as safe and secure as possible. We use advanced technology to detect fraudulent activity on your account and we continually train all of our colleagues on how to recognise signs of fraud.

Criminals will impersonate anyone to get their hands on your money. The Police, trusted organisations such as telecommunications companies, even your bank! So, it’s extremely important that you stay vigilant and know what to look out for.

When a customer recently visited our Stafford branch requesting to transfer £15,000 to her son, our branch colleagues asked some questions in relation to the reason for the transaction. This is standard practice when a customer requests to make a transfer. Being fraud aware, it soon became very clear to our colleagues that the customer had been coached in what to say and kept changing her story.

The branch staff became suspicious that the customer may have been a victim of a fraud scam and discreetly took the customer to one side to discuss things further with them.

Our branch colleagues were able to delve further in to the customers situation. She explained that her son needed emergency funds and that he’d promised to pay her back, however during the conversation she mentioned that a man had called her telling her where to send the money to.

Our branch colleagues expressed their concerns to the customer who eventually admitted that a man had called her claiming to be from the Police and told her that somebody in the Bank was committing internal fraud. She was told that she needed to move her money to another account to keep it safe and that if questioned by Bank staff, she must tell them a different reason for moving her money.

Being asked to move money from your account to ‘keep it safe’ is a tell-tale sign that it’s a scam. The Bank or the Police will never ask you to do this.

The branch manager invoked the Banking Protocol, an industry fraud prevention scheme that prompts urgent attendance from the Police. The Police arrived within minutes, just as the customer received another call from the scammers asking her why she had not transferred the funds yet. The Police took over the call, and told the scammer he’d been found out and blocked the caller on the customer’s mobile. The customer admitted she’d given out details about her debit card, so our branch colleagues stopped the card and reset her security details ensuring she had enough cash to tide her over until her new card arrived.

Due to the vigilance of our Stafford branch colleagues they were able to prevent the customer from losing a massive £15,000. The customer was extremely grateful for us safeguarding her money.

An important thing to remember is that being a victim of fraud can happen to anyone, it is never your fault. On our website we’ve put together lots of information, hints and tips on the different types of fraud, what to look out for and how to stay safe: https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/global/security/common-fraud-threats

There are 3 important things to remember in order to protect your money:

  1. Never agree to download an App or software on to your mobile, iPad or computer. Especially if you are then asked to log in to your online bank account.
  2. Never tell anyone the verification codes that we send to you by text or email. Not even us!
  3. Never agree to transfer your money to another account or handover cash in order to keep it safe.

For more Security and Fraud information, visit: https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/global/security

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