• 19 October 2017
  • From the section Business

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Victims of financial fraud might soon be able to call for help via a new telephone hotline, similar to the 999 emergency service.

Under the plan anyone worried about scammers would be able to dial 555.

The idea – which is in its early stages – is being examined by Financial Fraud Action UK, and has backing from the Home Office.

Victims could be transferred immediately to their bank’s fraud department or to the Police.

The information could also be used to help build up a database of incidents.

In the first half of 2017 there were over 937,000 cases of fraud, many of which involved scammers trying to persuade victims to transfer their money into other accounts.

In such cases, prompt action is vital, allowing banks to freeze accounts and stop cash being moved.

“Protecting customers from fraud is a top priority for all banks and the industry is always investigating new ways to improve its response,” said a spokesperson for UK Finance.

“This is one potential idea that is at the very early stages of being explored.”

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