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Stay alert after recent courier fraud

Woman at a computer looking shocked

Thames Valley Police is warning residents to be vigilant following recent incidents of courier fraud.

On Wednesday 10 June local officers dealt with 2 separate fraud offences in which the elderly victims were phoned by persons claiming to be police officers of high rank, investigating suspicious cash in the victim’s accounts.

They then asked for the victims to withdraw large sums of money from their accounts and to pass it to a courier who would attend their home so that the notes could be checked to make sure they were legitimate.

Unfortunately in both cases the fraudsters were successful in convincing the victims to comply.

Scammers frequently emphasise the need for the victim’s discretion and tell them they cannot speak to friends or family due to it being part of an ongoing investigation. They even tell them they cannot speak to staff at their bank as they are not trustworthy and are being investigated. This is designed to isolate the victim.

If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or using the Action Fraud website. In an emergency dial 999.

Advice to prevent fraud

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • remember that in no circumstances would any bank, or the police ask you to take such actions - these types of request will only come from a fraudster
  • under no circumstances divulge your 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone
  • 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 bank cards or cash and they will never ask for your PIN number
  • 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
  • if you have suspicions about a caller claiming to be a police officer, ask for their shoulder number and base station - then ring 101 from a different phone, as the fraudsters will often keep your line open even if you think you’ve hung up. Thames Valley Police contact centre staff will be able to verify if a caller is genuine and assist you if the incident is an apparent fraud

For more information visit the Thames Valley Police website.