Courier fraud - do you have an elderly neighbour or relative?
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People with elderly relatives and neighbours are being asked to make them aware of a fraud where victims are being duped out of large sums of money or jewellery.
In the last week, two people have been duped out of thousands of pounds after someone claiming to be a police officer conducting a fraud investigation contacted them.
The most recent incident took place yesterday (Monday 3 February) when a woman in her 80s was contacted by someone claiming he was a police officer from a station in London. The victim was told that her bank card had been cloned and that she should visit a jewellers in Leicester and purchase a high value watch using her card.
The victim purchased the watch and returned home where the watch was later collected. She reported the incident to the police as soon as she realised she had been a victim of fraud.
Last week (Friday 31 January) a man was the victim of courier fraud after he was contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer. The victim was told to withdraw cash from his account which was later collected from his home.
Later the same day the same victim was contacted again and on this occasion he was asked to go to a local jewellers to purchase a watch. The suspect told the victim that they were carrying surveillance of the shop for counterfeit offences and his assistance would help. The victim became suspicious and ended the call.
Paul Wenlock from the force’s economic crime unit, said: “In the majority of cases we know elderly and vulnerable people are being targeted by these scammers. They sound plausible and victims do get taken in by what they are being told.
“A number of warnings have been issued about these crimes in the last few months but we know not everyone accesses social media or the internet, so we are asking the public to help us by informing their neighbours or relatives about these offences.
“They should be advised that police officers would never contact them in this way. If they are called they should disconnect the call straightaway and report the incident to the police using another telephone, as on some occasions calls can remain connected.
“Further advice about these offences can be found on https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/courier-fraud.”