Officers raid properties and make arrests as part of multi-force courier fraud crackdown.

Teams from the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit, Derbyshire Constabulary and the City of London Police have raided three properties across London as part of a multi-force crackdown on a devious scam which targets the vulnerable and the elderly, known as courier fraud.

Specialist officers from North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit and Derbyshire carried out the raids and officers arrested three men on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud. In addition to the arrest’s officers seized £1,800 in cash and took three men in for questioning.

Detective Sergeant Shaun Fordy From the Specialist Operations Unit said: “We have seen the devastating effects scams like courier fraud can have on its vulnerable victims, who are coerced into handing over their savings and valuables to hardened criminals. This not only deprives them of their belongings, but also takes their self-esteem, peace of mind and shatters their trust in organisations like the police. We want to reinforce the message that no police force or organisation would ever ask anyone to hand over their valuables, withdraw cash or send anything of value via courier. As part of Operational Sentinel, our initiative to tackle serious and organised crime, we will actively pursue those offenders who target and exploit vulnerable people in this way, and work alongside our partners to bring them before the courts.”

What is Courier Fraud?

When you’re called by someone pretending to be from your bank or building society and convinced to tell them your card details over the phone. They arrange for a courier to pick up your card to take it away for evidence or to have it destroyed. In reality, the card is collected by the fraudsters to withdraw money from your account.

You may get called on your mobile or landline by someone who claims to be from your bank or the police. They say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced. They might suggest that you hang up and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure you that they’re genuine. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you’re still speaking to the same fraudster.

They’ll then ask you to read out your credit or debit card PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or elsewhere to grab more information. Then they promise to send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have your name, address, full bank details, card and its PIN, and withdraw cash using the card and may even use the information to commit identity fraud in your name.

Spot the signs, advice from Action Fraud:

  • Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity but is asking you for personal information or even your PIN to verify who you are.
  • They’re offering you to call back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call there’s no dial tone.
  • They try to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.

Protect yourself

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier. Hang up if you get a call like this.
  • If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.
  • Your debit or credit card is yours – don’t let a stranger take it off you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled, you should destroy it yourself.
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