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Courier Fraud

Alert message sent 16/07/2016 13:53:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is calling on residents to help tackle courier fraud by taking ten minutes to talk to elderly friends and relatives.  

Courier fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing large sums of cash to a courier that arrives at their home.  

Officers are asking family and friends to take ten minutes to talk through these top tips: 

  • Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how polite or friendly they are.  Saying ‘No thank you’ and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your home to collect your money, your bank cards, and they will never ask for your pin number.  Close the door, lock it, and call 101 to speak to the police.
  • Keep a mobile phone next to the landline, and if you want to make a phone call immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone.  
  • If you do hand over your bank details or cards, don’t panic.  Call your bank immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what’s happened and cancel your cards.  
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you, or force you into anything.  If you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone what’s happened.
This advice is being re-issued following a recent incident in the local area where fraudsters have successfully collected money after posing as officers from Scotland Yard.  

There are many variations of the courier scam, but it usually follows this method:

  • A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline.  In Abingdon, the fraudster’s have claimed to be from the victim’s bank, the police, a fraud investigator, and even television personality and Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis OBE. 
  • The fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in the victim’s account, or that they need the victim’s help in investigating fraudulent activity at their bank.
  • In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine, they suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when the real phone number is dialled, they are actually still speaking to the fraudster.
  • Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect cash from the victim’s home address, or to take the victim to their bank to withdraw the money. The fraudster will have then obtained the victim’s name, address, full bank details, card and PIN.
If you receive this type of call, report it to the Police by calling 101, or to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.  In an emergency dial 999.
Message sent by
Lucy Price (Police, Sergeant, Chiltern & South Bucks LPA)

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