Finance industry’s specialist police unit prevented £94.5m of fraud in 2018


A record £94.5 million-worth of fraud was prevented in 2018 by a specialist police unit sponsored by the finance industry.

It is the highest annual total since the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) was set up in 2002.

This brings the unit’s total estimated savings from reduced fraud activity to £600 million.

The DCPCU tackles the organised criminal gangs responsible for financial fraud and last year secured 48 convictions and disrupted 11 organised crime groups.

Last year, the unit also recovered more than 32,000 compromised card numbers, a 65% increase on the previous year.

This includes card numbers that were identified through seized equipment such as mobile phones and computers.

The numbers were passed on to banks and card issuers who could take action to thwart any potential fraud.

The unit also seized £340,000 worth of assets in 2018.

Some £176,000 was also awarded in compensation to victims, up from £162,000 the previous year.

Head of unit of the DCPCU, Detective Chief Inspector Glyn Whittick, 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, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “The DCPCU is an excellent example of the finance industry working with law enforcement to tackle fraud and the organised criminal groups responsible.

“This is part of a broader collaboration, as banks and police continue their joint determination to protect customers from the devastating impact of fraud.

“Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated techniques, and so it is vital that people follow the advice of our Take Five To Stop Fraud campaign.

“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.”