More than £13 million has been saved from being fraudulently withdrawn from bank accounts by criminals, according to a new report.
The progress report was published by the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, which was founded in 2007.
Programmes have been established to stop young people getting involved in crime, with the report also detailing an online training resource that helps identify signs of serious organised crime.
The task force has 13 members, with meetings chaired by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf.
He said: “The task force partners have delivered a wide range of activities to tackle serious organised crime – contributing to a safer, fairer and more prosperous country.
“Among the successes has been the implementation of the Banking Protocol, which has been adopted by most of the major banks operating in Scotland.
“Banking staff have prevented more than £13 million from being withdrawn from the accounts of often older or vulnerable people.”
He added: “These incidents tended to centre around conning people into withdrawing their money or paying excessive amounts for work that was not needed or was of poor standard.
“And in some cases these people have been accompanied at the bank by a member of the group in a bid to get the money.
“The report underlines the continuing grip organised criminals have on some of our most disadvantaged communities and we are determined to do all that we can to make Scotland a hostile environment for anyone who seeks to exploit others.”
According to the report, there were 112 serious organised crime groups as of last March involving around 2,400 people, with 72% in the west of Scotland, 18% in the east and 10% in the north.
While 69% are involved in drugs crime, 72% use seemingly legitimate businesses including taxis, restaurants and shops.
Major banks that have signed up to the Banking Protocol include Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and TSB.
Alasdair Macfarlane, head of fraud prevention and response at RBS, said: “These types of scams have a devastating impact on our customers’ lives and that’s why our branch colleagues are trained to identify and help prevent these crimes.
“Working in collaboration with Police Scotland, we are disrupting these criminals.
“However, customers should always be aware that neither we nor the police will ever ask a customer to transfer money to a safe account and if asked to do so they should call us on a trusted number and preferably on a different phone line.”
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Angela McLaren said: “We are committed to tackling serious and organised, and will persistently pursue those who set out to cause harm and misery to our communities.
“By working in collaboration with key partners, the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce has already had notable success in detecting and disrupting a number of organised crime groups and crime types.
“We cannot and will not become complacent in our efforts and through the SOC Taskforce we will continue to identify those involved in organised crime, dismantle their operations and bring them before the courts.”
The full report can be read online.