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Bogus police fraud warning

Friday 6 October

Don't fall for fraud

The council and police are asking people to be vigilant after a spate of cases of con men pretending to be police officers to defraud vulnerable elderly residents.

The criminals pose as police officers investigating a crime and convince victims to give them money to be used as evidence to help with an ongoing investigation. They may call the victim and encourage them to call 999 to confirm they are legitimate, but by not hanging up the phone themselves, are able to remain on the line and pose as the call handler.

The police would never request bank details, or ask resident to withdraw money for any reason, nor would they ask people to transfer money, buy goods or services, or send someone to collect PIN numbers, bank cards or cheques.

People are being asked to be vigilant, and warn elderly friends and relatives about the con to prevent more people becoming victims of what is known as courier fraud.

What is courier fraud?

Courier frauds usually start with a criminal calling your home and pretending to be a police officer.

In reported cases, they have then claimed your account is being used to pay for goods you did not order.

They also normally tell you that your bank is in on the scam and is harbouring counterfeit money, and they need your help to investigate.

You will then be asked to withdraw the cash from your account so it can be used as evidence, with arrangements made for a courier to come and collect it from you.

Variations on the scam involve people claiming to be from Trading Standards, your local bank or other organisations in a position of trust.

Protect yourself against courier fraud

The police or your bank will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank card or other items and will never ask for cash, valuables, or your PIN.

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately without providing information.

If you wish to call your bank use a number known to you, not one provided by the caller. Call from another phone, or call a friend first to ensure the offenders have been disconnected from your line.

If you’ve handed over any personal bank details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.

What to do if you're a victim

Report fraud online here if:

You can also call the police on 101 if you don't have access to a computer or smartphone.

In all other circumstances, to report fraud (online fraud and related internet crime) and receive a crime reference number contact Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.