Industry-Funded Fraud Squad Successfully Dismantles Organised Crime Gangs

The latest figures from UK Finance report that thirteen organised crime groups were dismantled by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) in the first half of 2019.

The DCPCU is a unique proactive police unit, with an ongoing brief to seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque, and payment fraud crimes. In 2018 they achieved an estimated savings of £94.5 million from preventing and interrupting fraud.

So far this year, 39 fraudsters have been convicted, serving a combined total of 44 and half years in prison. The £30,000 seized from these organised crime groups is double that of the same period last year, proving a great success for the DCPCU.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson commented that:

“These figures are testament to the hard work of the DCPCU officers who are on the front-line in the fight against fraudsters. The criminals involved are becoming increasingly organised and dangerous. We are seeing gangs involved in drug trafficking and firearms offences turning to fraud, targeting victims across the UK.”

The DCPCU have found that criminals are now exploiting new technologies to commit fraud, such as using social media to recruit ‘money mules.’ Elderly customers are also being tricked into handing over their money through callous scams.

Earlier this year the DCPCU shut down a courier scam, in which a London-based gang persuaded an elderly woman to place her bank cards underneath her doormat to be collected by a ‘courier’.

Katy Worobec, the Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, has said:

“The DCPCU is central to the industry’s efforts to protect customers from fraud. Through this unique partnership between law enforcement and the finance industry, we are disrupting the gangs behind this devastating crime and making sure they have nowhere to hide.”

Since the DCPCU was set up in 2002, the unit has prevented or disrupted over £600 million of fraud, including £6.8 million in the first half of 2019. Despite the unit’s success, each day more sophisticated techniques are being employed by criminals.

To continue prosecuting fraudsters, the DCPCU has said they are going to step up their engagement with social media firms to take down profiles made by criminals, as well as combating SIM swap fraud.