Wiltshire Police are supporting the City of London Police in their campaign to raise awareness of courier fraud. From Monday 13 January they will be advising those who are most likely to fall victim about how to protect themselves.
Figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show courier fraud is on the rise and affecting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Victims are losing large amounts of money and we suspect these types of crimes go largely unreported.
Courier fraud occurs when a fraudster contacts victims by telephone purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To gain a victim’s trust, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable personal details such as their full name and address. The caller might then suggest money has been removed from their account by mistake, police need money for evidence or even need the victim to purchase an item of high price ‘evidence’.
Victims are asked to co-operate in an investigation and withdraw money from their bank, foreign currency from an exchange or handing over the expensive item to a ‘courier’ for examination. The collector of which will be a fraudster.
At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over, or spent, will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.
Wiltshire Police Fraud Manager Jonathan Lee said “We are reminding our communities that banks, police officers and similar professionals will never contact you to ask for you to assist with investigations and withdraw money or purchase expensive items.
“Fraudsters can seem highly credible and convincing but if someone you don’t know contacts you, remain suspicious.
“We’d like to ask the families and friends of less tech-savvy people, often of the older generation, to start having regular conversations with them about courier fraud and remain vigilant about cold callers as they are particularly vulnerable to fall victim.”