Please be aware and share the below message, especially with your elderly neighbours
November and December has seen a rise in the number of attempts
to defraud elderly and vulnerable people out of their banked savings. Criminals
pretending to be police officers have already obtained through a type of scam
known as ‘courier fraud’ over £80,000 and we have had victims come forward from
in Malvern and in and around Worcester.
Inspector Emma Wright from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said:
“Not all attempts of this scam are successful and it is reassuring to see that
our clear messaging that no police officer will ever ask you for money on the
phone is a message that people are hearing. Sadly however, some vulnerable
people have been taken advantage of and have handed over thousands of pounds.
In one case a victim withdrew over £10,000 and returned home to give it to a
“Don’t trust anyone who calls you about your bank details or
asking you to go to a bank to withdraw money. Always hang up and wait 10
minutes to ensure the call has disconnected before calling 101.
you want to check they are legitimate, find their number via directory
enquiries and call them back.
“If possible, also use a different telephone line to make sure the line is
clear e.g. a mobile phone or the phone of a trusted friend or relative. If they
are genuine, you should be able to get through to them. You can also check what
they are saying is true with your bank.
can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is
trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don’t be pressured and give
yourself time to stop and think.
remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash.
We will also never ask you to purchase expensive items or transfer money to a
safe account. If someone does, it’s a scam – provide no details and hand
nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to the police on 101 or 999 if
there are people at your property to take money from you.
are working hard to identify these criminals trying to con our elderly and
vulnerable family members and friends and a number of arrests have been made
and charges have been brought. However we would ask the public to spread this
message of caution and awareness throughout the wider community and would urge
you to pass on, particularly to elderly relatives or neighbours, information
about these scams and ask them not to trust anyone who asks them for their bank
details or for money over the phone.”
What is Courier Fraud?
A phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating
unidentified activity/ fraud in their bank account and that they must cooperate
with the ‘investigation’.
The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the
‘investigators’, either by some remote means or in person to a courier.
The victim is told that if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal that
they are to say it is for work/repairs in the home or Christmas shopping.
Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or
other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another
account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.
In some cases a victim is encouraged to hang up the phone and dial 101 to
confirm with the police that the request is genuine. In these cases the line
has stayed connected to the fraudster, who puts on another person to confirm
this. In some cases a dial tone is played to the victim so they think they have
called the genuine police. This is why we advise putting down the phone and
waiting 10 minutes or using another telephone line. This way victims can be
sure the call has disconnected from the fraudster.
further information regarding Courier Fraud, please visit the West Mercia
Police website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-fraud/