Courier Fraud Awareness Campaign
City of London Police have a Courier Fraud Awareness Campaign running this week. Norfolk Constabulary are supporting the campaign. Norfolk sits near the top of the table when it comes to recorded courier fraud offences; seventh in England, according to 2021 data (provided by City of London Police).
Despite the numbers of cases reported in Norfolk being high, the amount of financial loss is, thankfully, comparatively low. Suffolk, by way of comparison, had 24 reported cases, with a total loss of £49,013.
Four of the most common ways that courier fraudsters work are
- Bank card expiry: the fraudster will claim to be from the victim's bank and say their card is no longer valid. They ask for the PIN number and then send a 'courier' to collect the card before using it for fraudulent purposes
- Purchasing high end items: the suspects pretend to be police officers and ask the victim to help with an undercover operation by purchasing expensive items like watches, jewellery and gold. Once the item is bought, the victim will hand over to the criminals
- Counterfeit cash/bank investigations: a person claims to be a police officer or banking official and informs the victim that they need to help with a banking corruption investigation. The victim is told to withdraw a large amount of money and the cash is picked up later by a courier to 'check for fingerprints, or to identify counterfeit bank notes'
- Computer takeover: the fraudster telephones the victim, purporting to be from their internet service provider, saying that they have had an issue with their internet connectivity and are due compensation. The victim is persuaded to download a remote access application, giving the fraudsters access to their home computer. The fraudster persuades the victim into thinking that they have been paid too much compensation and the victim then withdraws cash to pay the money back, later collected by a 'courier'.
City of London Police urge anyone who is contacted by someone they do not know, or cannot verify the identity of, to follow the following advice:
STOP take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information
CHALLENGE could it be fake? It's OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you
PROTECT if you think you've been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040
To highlight how prevalent this crime is, two cases of courier fraud have been reported today (18 May) in Norfolk. Scammers pretending to be police officers stole nearly £2,000 from elderly victims.