Customer facing employees of banks, building societies and post offices have received special forces training in a bid to reduce financial crime.
Police hope the scheme will help to reduce the amount of cash scams that take place by making fraudsters think twice about ripping people off if, ‘Sarah,’ who sits behind the counter at their victim’s local bank branch, is trained to kill a person in 26 ways without leaving a single mark.
National Trading Standards’ Head of Special Forces Training Mrs. Milly Terry said, “Branch counter staff are being taught navigation, patrol formation and jungle survival skills. They will have to march for 40 miles with full equipment scaling and descending Pen y Fan in 20 hours before undergoing resistance to interrogation techniques that will involve hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation, prolonged nakedness, sexual humiliation and deprivation of warmth, water and food.”
The new scheme, known as the Banking Protocol, is aimed at ensuring banks and police are more active in protecting customers from scammers such as rogue builders, romance fraudsters and elderly abusers – although people that try to sell ironing board covers door-to-door are not currently covered by the programme.
Staff at one bank which has trialled the scheme helped to prevent a customer being swindled out of £3,000.
John, a man in his 60s, was approached by a builder at his home about doing some work on his house.
He had withdrawn £3,000 from his local branch after explaining to staff what it was going to be used for.
John handed over the builder’s contact details and staff gave him a call.
Bank Cashier Jenny said: “The person that answered wasn’t very professional and the alarm bells started to ring. I am very well trained for this sort of eventuality and underneath my desk I always have a fully loaded .50 calibre machine gun, a Browning 9mm pistol and an assortment of stun grenades at the ready.”
Bank staff taking part in the trial scheme in London have so far apprehended one Nigerian email scammer, a phony clairvoyant and somebody that sells knock off Adidas sportswear that only has two stripes.
Police, Financial Fraud Action and National Trading Standards have hailed the trial a success.