#staysafeonline What is Courier Fraud?
Courier fraud occurs when a fraudster contacts victims by telephone claiming to be from the police or a bank. The caller will often have discovered personal information – like name and address – through the dark web. So they sound plausible and are very good at winning trust – particularly with the elderly – although younger people have also been convinced. They persuade people to withdraw money from their bank then send a courier to collect it. Sounds implausible – well it’s not:
One couple received a call from ‘Scotland Yard’ saying that bank fraud had been discovered, they were persuaded to go to their local branch and take out a large sum of money from their account. The fraudsters then sent someone to collect the money from their home address.
One elderly couple who were targeted like this, were contacted again 2 days later and informed that half the cash that was collected was counterfeit. They were then persuaded to withdraw more money – but fortunately the staff at the bank became suspicious and contacted the police to report their concerns.
In another incident a woman in her 60s was contacted by a man who claimed he was a police officer from a police station in London. The man stated he was investigating fraud at a major bank. The fraudster persuaded her to go to her local branch and a taxi was arranged to take her there. Fortunately, the local taxi firm knew the victim and became suspicious. They helped her contact the police and report the incident.
Neither the Police, nor your bank will ever contact you in this way – if you get a call like this hang up.
If you want to contact your bank to check, wait at least five minutes before ringing them as fraudsters can stay on the line even after you have hung up. Better still, use a different phone. If you have elderly neighbours or relatives, please alert them and ask them to be careful.
Further advice about scams can be found on the Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/courier-fraud