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Detectives from Northamptonshire Police’s Fraud Team are encouraging members of the public to make their elderly relatives aware of courier fraud.
Courier fraud involves fraudsters telephoning a potential victim, claiming to be from their bank, the police or another law enforcement authority, and tricking them into revealing their PIN number, bank card and personal details. Sometimes, the fraudsters will turn up in person to collect cash from their victims.
The scam, which usually targets the elderly, involved a huge total of over £55,000 being stolen from victims in Northamptonshire in 2019.
One victim in Northamptonshire bravely spoke out after falling victim to a very sophisticated courier fraud scam in Northamptonshire where the fraudster pretend to be a police officer investigating corruption in her bank.
Detective Inspector Tania Ash, said: “As you can see from the video where one of our victims of courier fraud bravely speaks out, these scams can be very sophisticated and can result in devastating losses of tens of thousands of pounds.
“Often, vulnerable victims are sworn to secrecy or made to feel that there are severe consequences to others or their finances if they tell anyone what’s going on. They are sometimes visited by criminals in their own homes and when they finally realise they have been scammed, they often undeservedly feel a great shame.
“The people carrying out these scams are exceptionally clever and know how to manipulate their victims by making them feel panicked and rushed into actions they will later regret.
“Please speak to your elderly relatives about this kind of scam and remind them that a police officer or bank staff member will never ask for your PIN or personal details.
“A genuine member of either organisation will also have no issue with a person putting the phone down and ringing 101 or the bank to establish their true identity.”
In another Northamptonshire case, the fraudsters’ attempts to scam a vulnerable and elderly man were thwarted when the bank realised something was amiss.
The victim in this case was encouraged to withdraw over £6000 by someone purporting to be selling solar-powered technology. The fraudster drove the elderly man to the bank where he attempted to withdraw the money. However, the bank were suspicious and after a call to police, a man was arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with the incident.
Detective Inspector Ash, continued: “This is a great example of how the banks can work with us to challenge potential incidents of fraud. Instead of this man losing several thousand pounds, a man was arrested for attempting to defraud him.”
Tips to avoid becoming a courier fraud victim