Courier Fraud Warning
Summarised from an email by PCSO Michelle Wilkinson
Police are asking residents in Winchester to be aware of more courier fraud incidents that are occurring in Winchester and throughout Hampshire.
In May, two elderly residents from Twyford and Compton fell victim to this scam. After the initial phonecall, they were convinced to withdraw substantial amounts of cash from their accounts over a number of days, and on each day a man collected the money from them.
If you know of any vulnerable neighbours, please could I kindly ask you to visit these people, in particular those who are not on email and alert them to the scam.
To date, three people have been arrested in connection with these incidents however the offences are still continuing and the investigation is ongoing.
Reference: Action Fraud
The courier scam is when fraudsters call and trick you into handing your cards and PIN numbers or cash to a courier on your doorstep. There are many variations of the scam, but it usually follows this method:
- A fraudster will cold call you on a landline, claiming to be from your bank or the police. They state their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
- In order to reassure you that they are genuine, they suggest that you hang up and ring the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you are actually still speaking to the fraudster.
- They then ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or financial service provider.
- Finally, they send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have then obtained your name, address, full bank details, card and PIN.
Protect yourself against courier fraud
- Your bank will never send a courier to your home
- Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
- Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
- If you receive one of these calls end it immediately
- Ring 101 or report this to Action Fraud
- If you have handed over any details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.
- If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone.
Chief Inspector Darius Hemmatpour, District Commander for Winchester, said: “I am appealing for anyone who may have already been contacted by anyone purporting to be a police officer and asking for money to contact us on 101 to report this activity.
“As many of the victims are elderly I would ask that anyone with elderly friends or family members living in Winchester to please make them aware of this scam.
“This type of fraud against vulnerable people is cruel and swift. The key message is never to give your card to anyone, never give your PIN to anyone, and never agree to visit your bank to take out cash if someone calls you to tell you there is a problem with your bank account.
“If you are telephoned, hang up, wait several minutes and call the police on 101, or your bank on the telephone number provided on your card, not a number you have been given over the telephone. Ensure there is a dial tone on your phone first before you call, or better still, call from a friend’s house or mobile. This is because the telephone line sometimes remains open as the person who called you does not hang up, and you are still connected to the person trying to trick you.
“Your local police officer or PCSO can talk to you about this, or you can visit the Action Fraud website actionfraud.police.uk/ or call them for more information about staying as safe as possible. Please share this message with older or vulnerable family and friends.”
Anyone who is concerned about similar incidents or has information relating to this report should contact police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, please call 999.
PCSO 15075 Michelle Wilkinson
Winchester Rural North Neighbourhood Policing Team
Alresford Police Office / 101 / Hampshire Constabulary.
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this article appears in the June 2015 issue of the Compton & Shawford Parish Magazine