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Cambridgeshire police ask people to be aware of courier fraud

Cambridgeshire police ask people to be aware of courier fraud

Published by Grace Mcgachy
12:00pm 16th January 2020. (Updated at 12:01pm 16th January 2020)

Police in Cambridgeshire is urging members of the public to be aware of courier fraud.

Throughout the rest of this month forces across the country are focusing on raising awareness.

The scam which often targets elderly people is when criminals cold call a victim, typically claiming to be a police officer or bank official.

elderly person using a mobile phone

Figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) show instances of courier fraud across the country are on the rise and affecting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Specific examples have been where fraudsters claim there's an issue with the victim's bank account, or they ask for their help with an 'ongoing investigation'. 

The aim is to convince them into handing over money or their bank account details. 

A commonly seen technique is when the scammers tell the victim to take out large sums of cash, buy an expensive item or provide the details on their bank cards. 

Then a courier will come and pick up the money or items 'on behalf of the bank/police'. They will often go to the victims home address. 

texting on phone

There were 233 reports of courier fraud in the eastern region in 2019 (up until 24 December) with total losses of more than £620,000.

Detective Constable Al Al-Bassam, from the Regional Fraud Investigation Unit (RFIU), said: "I would urge people to remain aware that phone scams are operating across the region. As it does tend to be the elderly and vulnerable who are targeted by the offenders, please share the following advice with neighbours and relatives."

Stay safe from courier fraud 

  • Neither your bank or the police will ever call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN number by phone or offer to pick up your card.
  • Hang up if you get a call like this
  • If you'd like to call your bank to check, be sure to wait five minutes as fraudsters may stay on the phone after you hand up
  • Ideally, use a different line altogether to call your bank
  • Don't let a stranger take your debit card off of you, you should only hand it over at your bank and if it's cancelled you should destroy it yourself. 

If you are suspicious about a telephone conversation you should end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101

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