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Officers warn against courier fraud in Bucks

People are being tricked into storing cash at home which is taken by the criminals

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:56am 30th July 2020. 3-minute read.

Officers warn against courier fraud in Bucks

Criminals are posing as bank employees and police officers to defraud Buckinghamshire residents.

Thames Valley Police have put out a warning to Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire residents to be weary of courier fraud. 

Since the beginning of 2020, Thames Valley Police have responded to over 80 reports of courier fraud from Action Fraud. 

Thames Valley Police are particularly concerned as this fraud often targets the elderly or vulnerable.

There are different variations of the scam, as Detective Inspector Duncan Wynn explains:

"A criminal will contact the victim, usually via landline at their home address, and inform them that they have been a victim of some sort of fraudulent transaction on their account. And that they are calling from either the bank or the police and they need the person to do some sort of action to assist with the investigation. 

"That action will normally be to withdraw some cash and to take it home for safe keeping, to had over their bank cards or their bank details.

"What criminals will normally do is send a private hire vehicle to the persons address to collect the cash/card and therefore continue on the fraud."

When posing as a police officer, the criminal often claims it is part of an investigation into bank employees and then states contacting the bank would endanger the work they are doing. 

Some of these schemes have checks in place, so if a person is suspicious a separate number is given for them to contact. 

This number is usually claimed to be for the fraud department for the bank/local police station. However, this is a set up and belongs to someone involved in the con.

DI Wynn shared some advice on how to avoid falling victim to the scam:

"In the first instance question everything. Take your time, step back, consider what you're being asked to do and whether it sounds reasonable. Then look at a third party way of being able to verify it.

"So, speak to a friend or neighbour, go into your local branch or use a separate phone to the one you have been contacted on to call your bank's fraud department"

Thames Valley Police are aware that through lockdown the fact people cannot get into their bank as frequently as they normally would has been something criminals have taken advantage of.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of courier fraud should contact their bank's fraud department and report it to Action Fraud.

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