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New Courier Fraud Scam

Alert message sent 02/08/2017 12:49:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

Dear Citizen

 

We are writing to inform you a recent increase in courier fraud in the Hampshire area.

 

Courier fraud is when you are contacted by someone pretending to be from your bank, building society or other trusted source and convinced to tell them your card details over the phone or withdraw cash. They then arrange for a courier to pick up your card or cash to take it away for evidence or to have it destroyed. In reality, the card is collected by the fraudsters who use the cash or the card to withdraw money from your account.  

The latest trend in courier fraud scams sees fraudsters posing as police officers and calling residents pretending to be from the police claiming there has been a fraudulent transaction made from their bank card or account and then asking for their help to catch the offender. The fraudsters responsible for these crimes frequently emphasize the need for discretion and in a bid to isolate the target will encourage them not to speak to friends or family due to it being part of an ongoing investigation and tell them they cannot speak to the bank as they are not trustworthy and are being investigated.

There are many ways this type of fraud may occur however the most common way is that you may get called on your mobile or landline telephone by fraudsters who claim to be from your bank or the police. They say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced. They will attempt to obtain personal information, including your PIN number. Once they have your information, a courier will be sent to collect the card, which they can then use to withdraw money from your account. Another method involves being told that your bank may be involved and you may be asked to withdraw cash to establish whether the bank are circulating counterfeit notes.

To gain your confidence and to confirm who they are the fraudster may suggest that you hang up and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure you that they’re genuine. However, the fraudster will not hang up to disconnect the call from the landline, this means that when you dial the real phone number, you’re still speaking to the same fraudster.

Now you know, remember to spot the signs to help protect yourself:

  • Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity but is asking you for personal information or even your PIN to verify who you are.
  • They’re offering you to call back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call there’s no dial tone, they answer straight away etc.
  • They try to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.

 Remember:

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier. Under no circumstances would your bank or the police ask you to take such actions. These types of request will only come from a fraudster. Hang up if you get a call like this.
  • If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes and ensure there is a dial tone; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.
  • Call your bank or police using a known number, not the one given by them.
  • Never tell anyone your PIN number
  • Never give personal information or bank account details to anyone over the phone
  • Your debit or credit card is yours – don’t let a stranger take it off you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled, you should destroy it yourself. Never hand over your card, money or valuable to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere
  • If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer, always ask to see their identification. Close the door and call 101 to check they are genuine, a real police officer will not mind waiting whilst you check.

If you’ve been contacted or believe you are a victim of courier fraud you can report this to police on 101 and or to Action Fraud online or via telephone on 0300 123 2040. If you’ve already given your bank details over the phone or handed your card to a courier, call your bank straight away to cancel the card.

Message sent by
Sean Hurst (Police, PCSO, Havant - Battins and West Leigh)

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