‘Remain vigilant’ warning follows courier fraud reports

police car rear at night 600pxPolice are urging residents to “remain vigilant” following a number of recent reports of courier fraud.

 

The crimes commonly involve an unexpected call from someone who purports to be a police officer, a staff member from a local bank, or an employee from an internet or phone provider.

The victim is told that their account has been subject to fraudulent activity, or is in danger of being closed and requested to assist with an investigation.

This can involve:

• Being asked for details about their financial accounts and bank cards,
• Being sent to their bank to withdraw money, or being asked to buy high value goods, or
• Granting the caller access to their computer or phone, by downloading an application.

Officers received three reports of potential courier fraud incidents in the Southampton area on Tuesday (Oct 25). All were from someone claiming to be a police officer from Hammersmith Police Station in London.

Targets were asked to provide information about their financial accounts. Thankfully, they believed it was a fraudulent phone call and put the phone down.

Acting detective inspector Marcus Mills, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: “We know that offences of this nature can have a significant impact on victims, both emotionally and financially – as they come to terms with the financial losses after falling victim to a scam.”

He added: “If anyone receives a call of this nature, they should not engage with the caller and hang up.”

Police warn:


• Police officers, banks and other organisations such as HMRC will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.
• If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their ID number and police force. Wait at least five minutes before verifying details with the appropriate Force and ensure the call has disconnected as scammers will often leave the line open. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check their identity.
• Your bank or the police will never send a courier to your home to collect cash, bank cards, PINs or other valuable goods.
• Never hand money or your bank card/pin to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
• If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed.

You can report this kind of fraud by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999.

There’s more information on the Action Fraud website.

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