Reports Reveal Continued Focus on Fraud Reduction

27 April 2018 Written by Owen White Catlin Solicitors Category: Criminal Defence


A recent report from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) has given an interesting insight into the unit’s operations during 2017. 


Tackling Financial Fraud


The DCPCU is a specialist police unit that tackles the organised criminal groups responsible for financial fraud and scams. It is sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance.

Figures show that during 2017 it made 136 arrests and prevented almost £30m in fraud. In addition, it secured 89 convictions, which is a rise of 14% compared to the previous year, and recovered over 21,000 compromised card numbers.

Estimated savings from the recovery of items used to commit fraud such as compromised account details, compromised cards and skimming equipment, totalled £9.8m. Savings from disrupting criminal activity amounted to an estimated £19.6m. Around £1.14m of assets were blocked or seized, while £99,000 was seized in cash and £162,000 was awarded in compensation.


A Hostile Environment for Fraud


Overall, since the unit’s establishment in 2002, it has apparently achieved an estimated £516 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.

“We are successfully creating a hostile environment for criminals committing fraud,” commented Head of Unit of the DCPCU, Detective Chief Inspector Glyn Whittick. “Through close collaboration between the police and the banking industry, we can stamp out fraud and the criminal gangs behind it.”

“Dozens of fraudsters are now behind bars while millions of pounds of fraud has been prevented thanks to the hard work of our officers and staff, working closely with the industry,” he added.


Identity Fraud Numbers Hit Record High


In another fraud-related update, Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, has released a new analysis of fraud trends in the UK.

It found that although there has been an overall drop of 6% in cases recorded by Cifas members, the figures have highlighted some areas of particular concern, including a rise in the incidence of identity fraud, with numbers hitting an all-time high of 174,523 cases in 2017 (up 1% from 2016). Around 95% of these cases apparently involved the impersonation of an innocent victim.

Other findings from the Cifas’ annual report Fraudscape include:

  • Eight out of ten fraudulent applications were made online
  • There was a 27% increase in 14-24 year olds becoming ‘money mules’
  • Overall bank accounts identified as being used as ‘mule’ accounts were up by 11%
  • More than a third of bank account takeover victims were over 60-years-old
  • Organisations successfully prevented over £1.3 billion in fraud losses through non-competitive data sharing

“The small reduction in the overall number of detected frauds is welcome but it’s hard to say whether we are beginning to see the turning of the tide,” said Cifas Deputy Chief Executive, Mike Haley. “The absolute volume of fraud is still frighteningly high and much more still needs to be done to reduce its prevalence, including greater collaboration and sharing of fraud risk data between industry, government, and law enforcement.”

“Working together, organisations who are members of Cifas prevented over £1 billion worth of fraud last year and Cifas will continue to lead the way in the fight against fraud and financial crime,” he added.


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