Opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of 'susceptible' victims is likely to rise with the return of the public to the High Street, Police Scotland has warned. 

With lockdown preventing people from going to their banks, police saw the number of fraudulent transactions halved compared to the number of incidents in 2019. 

The warning comes as a partnership between police, the finance industry and Trading Standards helped prevent £6.85 million being lost to fraudsters in the last financial year. 

The Banking Protocol launched in 2018 helped train bank staff to recognise signs of scams. 

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Bank staff look out for customers seeking to move large sums of money to a new account, an overseas account or making unusual transactions while in the branch. The staff member can alert police and speak to the customer.

Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable, Angela McLaren, said: “We remain committed to working with our partners to protect people from becoming victims of fraud.

"Unfortunately, fraudsters will seek every opportunity to exploit anyone they perceive to be susceptible and who they can forge a controlling, exploitative relationship through fear, intimidation or false promises.”

“If you suspect you, or someone you know, has been the victim of finance fraud you should contact Police Scotland via 101, or in an emergency 999."

The protocol has already stopped almost 200 members of the public losing more than £1 million since this April.