‘Courier Fraud’ – don’t be a victim

The Met Police’s Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) across Waltham Forest are urging residents to avoid falling foul of con artists who use courier firms to help defraud victims of their life savings. Please make sure your friends and neighbours are aware, particularly if they are elderly.

What is courier fraud?

Courier fraud is a method fraudsters use to take victims’ money from their bank accounts by conning them into handing over their bank card to a courier, who delivers it to the suspect.

The method varies slightly from case to case but essentially the victim is telephoned by a suspect who alleges to be someone of authority, for example a police officer or someone from their bank or the Serious Fraud Office The suspect tells the victim there is a problem with their bank account – usually that it has been compromised. They are told that their card must be collected.

To convince the victim that they are genuine, the fraudster instructs the victim to hang up and call the police, bank or Serious Fraud Office on a genuine number. But the fraudster does not disconnect, and while the victim thinks they are making a new call they are in fact still connected to the suspect who again pretends to be a person of authority.

Having tricked the victim into believing they are who they say they are, the suspect convinces the victim to reveal their PIN. They then send a usually unwitting courier or taxi driver to the victim’s house to collect their bank card. The victim will usually have been instructed to wrap it up and put it in an envelope. The card is delivered to a second suspect, who then passes it on to the fraudster who made the call. The fraudster then empties the victim’s bank account.

Crime prevention measures

  • Police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card
  • Never give your PIN or bank card to anyone
  • If you are contacted by someone who asks for your PIN or  bank card, hang up
  • Use a different line to report it to police on 101 or  allow at least five minutes for the line to automatically clear. Call 999 if the crime is in action.

Between 01 January 2011 and 31 December 2012 there were 2,229 reports of courier fraud, including unsuccessful attempts across London.

Waltham Forest was the 12th worst hit borough with 65 incidents reported in this period.

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