The Banking Protocol in the UK was designed to help prevent scams. Since its inception in 2016, it is reported to have saved £174m, but UK Finance reports scammers have stolen £753.9m in just the first half of 2021. This is better than it probably sounds since preventing a scam requires recognition by the individual being scammed. This article describes the several-week process required to convince a victim that he was scammed. AI solutions are being developed that can detect some scam scenarios, but scammers work hard to perfect their crime, and even when caught, the justice system can take years to prosecute:
“Branch staff at banks, building societies and Post Offices worked with the police to stop £32m of fraud through the Banking Protocol in the first half of this year, according to trade body UK Finance. This is up 65 per cent compared with 2020 and brings the total amount of fraud prevented to £174m since the scheme was introduced in 2016.
More than 4,700 emergency calls were made between January and June this year, protecting customers from losing an average of £6,672 each to criminals, while use of the scheme has led to 934 arrests.
The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPU) prevented the theft of a further £85m in the first half of this year. DCPU investigations led to 67 arrests in that time, including several involved in scams exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic. There were 49 convictions in the period.
The unit is currently investigating more than 140 live cases, including 43 organised crime groups. Additionally, banks repaid £150m to authorised push payment fraud victims in the first half of this year, up 83 per cent annually.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group