A project which ensures every fraud victim in Hertfordshire is offered support and advice has been boosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
The Beacon Fraud Hub, helps tackle one of the highest crime types in the county by advising victims of their rights, advocating with banks on their behalf and providing one-on-one assistance to stop vulnerable victims being constantly targeted.
In the past three years the unit has contacted thousands of fraud victims, and in the process have helped them recover £2.3m.
Residents and businesses who have had money stolen by deception have been contacted by specialist workers, as part of the award-winning scheme.
Now the number of Fraud Hub staff is going to be increased from two to three following a decision by David Lloyd to invest extra money from the Government’s Victim Services Grant.
The additional member will work in the Constabulary’s Victim Service Team, which is part of Hertfordshire’s victim care centre Beacon, based at police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.
Mr Lloyd said: “A recent survey of residents in Hertfordshire showed that fraud and cyber crime are, alongside burglary, the crime they are most concerned about.
“Everyone is a potential target, but sadly it is often the elderly and most vulnerable that hand over money to these very convincing and sophisticated criminals. Some of these are then repeatedly targeted and lose large amounts of money.
“The Hub case workers do a fantastic job in supporting people to stop this happening. There have even been cases where they have accompanied victims to their banks to provide support, and put in place measures to stop the fraud occurring again.
“This additional member of staff will bolster the work they can do in providing dedicated help to even more victims.”
Each month the Fraud Hub are sent a list of around 650 victims from Hertfordshire who have reported a loss to Action Fraud, the national Police reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. They are then all contacted to see what support they need.