PJA urges riders to ditch high street banks in fraud fight

Thefts from riders started in 2014

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) PJA urges riders to ditch high street in fraud fight
By James Burn 3:02PM 4 OCT 2016

HORSEMEN have been urged to take their bank accounts away from the high street by the Professional Jockeys Association, who have described banks as "unwilling and incapable" of preventing and investigating thefts from riders.

It emerged in 2014 a number of jockeys and trainers had been targeted by an individual with losses amounting to a six-figure sum.

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In its monthly newsletter published on Tuesday, the PJA said the behaviour of some banks was "scandalous" and also labelled the police and cyber-crime reporting centre Action Fraud "no use whatsoever".

Champion jockeys Ryan Moore and Paul Hanagan are among those to be defrauded in what the PJA, which praised the assistance of the integrity department of the BHA, called a "fairly rudimentary scam".

It added: "An individual [captured on CCTV on every occasion] walks into a bank pretending to be the person whose account is being targeted, gains access to their account and withdraws significant amounts of cash over the counter. On occasion they present fake ID but often they just blag their way in using publically available information such as addresses and dates of birth.

"In the light of the significant and ongoing losses, which must now amount to a significant six-figure sum, the PJA and BHA have come to the conclusion that, given the ineptitude of the major high street banks in preventing the fraud and their lack of interest in prosecuting it, the only way to prevent the frauds from continuing is to move their current account banking off the high street.

"We cannot recommend a particular bank but there are numerous options [Weatherbys, Marks and Spencer, First Direct, Tesco, Sainsbury's] and we strongly urge our members to consider those."

Riders who stay with high street banks, the PJA continued, should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.

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