‘DESPICABLE’ courier scams have been reported around Warwickshire, prompting a warning from police to look out for suspicious vehicles which could be involved.
Officers are investigating a spate of frauds which left residents of Leamington, Rugby, Stoneleigh and Bedworth out-of-pocket.
Courier fraud is when fraudsters claiming to be from the police, a bank, HMRC or other official organisation call victims and ask them to withdraw or transfer money, or purchase other high value items such as gift cards.
If the victim has withdrawn cash, the fraudsters will often send a courier to the victim’s home to collect it.
Warwickshire Police believe the couriers are targeting certain areas, waiting in their vehicles until they get confirmation that the victim has withdrawn money.
Det Insp Rich Brown said: “We have received a number of reports of courier fraud incidents this week, and have seen some victims defrauded out of large quantities of money.
“We believe the fraudsters may be targeting specific areas by contacting several victims in a particular area, and then waiting in their vehicle until they know the victim has withdrawn money for them to collect.
“If you notice a vehicle that perhaps you haven’t seen in your area before acting suspiciously, I would urge you to get in touch and report this to us via our website or by calling 101. The more intelligence we receive, the more likely we are to catch those responsible.
“I would also encourage people to think about their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any other elderly friends or relatives to make sure they know how to avoid scams such as these and what they can do if they have been a victim of a scam.
“These are despicable crimes that are understandably very upsetting for victims who are often left feeling that their security at home has been violated, and we will do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.”
The police or your bank will never:
- Contact you asking for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
- Ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
- Ask you to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping
- Ask you to purchase high value items such as gift cards
- Send someone to your home to collect cash or other high value items, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers.
The police advise:
- If you are unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and then use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity
- Don’t give out personal information to anyone over the phone, including your PIN number and bank account or card details
- If you have given out your personal banking details to someone over the phone or have given someone your card details, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card.
Call Warwickshire Police on 101 to report calls from people purporting to be police officers and asking to withdraw or transfer money.
Report telephone scams to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.
Call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 for advice on scams. Always call 999 in an emergency.