June 21, 2017

Eleven people have been arrested as part of a series of police operations across the country proactively targeting remote purchase fraud.

Officers from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) executed a number warrants at residential and business addresses in London, Bournemouth, Kent and the West Midlands during a week of action.

Police worked closely with Visa, Europol, banks and retailers as part of the operations and to identify the suspects. In total the cases relate to a combined loss value of almost £650,000.

During the operations officers seized items including luxury watches and shoes, jewellery, electronics and cash. Financial documents and fake driving licences were also seized.

DI Glyn Whittick from the DCPCU said:

“The success of these operations is thanks to the collaborative activity between law enforcement, financial institutions and retailers in targeting those suspected of remote payment fraud.

“This is our third retail week of action and we will continue to target those who seek to profit from such crimes.”

Peter Bayley, Executive Director, Ecosystem Risk at Visa said:

“The latest Retail Week of Action has once again proved that collaboration between financial institutions, merchants and law enforcement can achieve excellent results. While Visa provides a safe and efficient payment solution for consumers, some criminals continue to look for ways to attack it purely for financial gain, and it is very satisfying to be able to play a principal role in co-ordinating activities that lead to the disruption of such activities, as well as to arrests and the seizure of goods.”

The DCPCU is a police unit 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 Financial Fraud Action UK. Established in April 2002, the DCPCU has since achieved an estimated £486 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.

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Notes to editors:

1. Remote purchase fraud is a transaction where the merchant, retailer or other service provider does not have physical access to the payment card; examples are transactions by telephone, mail order or internet. It is also known as card not present fraud

2. The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique pro-active police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between Financial Fraud Action UK, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an on-going brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.

3. Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) is responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud in the UK payments industry. Its membership includes banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card payment acquirers in the UK. It provides a forum for members to work together on non-competitive issues relating to financial fraud. Its primary function is to facilitate collaborative activity between industry participants and with other partners.