A record £101 million-worth of fraud was prevented by a specialist police unit funded by the banking and finance industry last year.
The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is made up of officers from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service and staff from trade association UK Finance.
The total amount prevented from being stolen during 2021 was the highest in the unit’s 20-year history.
Several people were jailed for their involvement in scams exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic, for example by sending scam texts claiming to be from the NHS.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, the head of the DCPCU, said: “I am immensely proud of the unit’s investigations which have prevented £101 million from going into the hands of criminals, a record amount in our 20-year history.”
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “The unit’s work in tackling organised criminal gangs has stopped stolen money from funding other serious criminal activities including terrorism, human trafficking and drugs smuggling.
“Unfortunately, criminals will continue to try to scam the public, so we urge everyone to follow the advice of our Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign: always take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.”