Banking industry backs specialist funded Card and Payment Crime Unit

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The banking industry has funded a specialist police unit allowing executed warrants in London and across the country, cracking down on criminals exploiting the coronavirus outbreak.

Strengthened by the knowledge and experience of the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police, the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) will seek to combat fraud specifically in the digital space. 

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson stated: “Working closely with the banks and mobile phone companies, we are successfully cracking down on criminals in London intent on using the COVID-19 outbreak to defraud vulnerable members of the public.

“This sends a clear message to those callously seeking to exploit this national crisis to commit fraud: we will track you down and bring you to justice.

“People are understandably anxious at this unprecedented time, with many concerned about their finances. It’s important to remember that criminals will exploit these fears and use COVID-19 as a cover story to try and trick you into giving away your money or personal details.”

It comes as the threat of fraudulent activity grows, whilst the UK continues to endure an extended period of lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

On Thursday 2 April, DCPCU officers executed a warrant at an address in South East London and seized several mobile phones and computers as part of an investigation into COVID-19 fraud emails.

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, added: “The banking industry is working in partnership with the police to protect the public from COVID-19 scams and target the criminal gangs responsible.

“It’s crucial that people remain vigilant against criminals using the coronavirus outbreak to send fraudulent emails and text messages.

“If you receive an unexpected text message or email, follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and remember that criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. Don’t click on any links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details in case it’s a scam.”