Warning issued after elderly targeted in courier fraud offences
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A warning has been issued after a number of elderly people in the Hinckley area were the victims of fraud.
Seven reports have been received since 1 March where victims, with ages ranging from 71 through to 89, have been contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer from the London area.
In the majority of cases victims have been contacted by fraudsters claiming their bank cards have been cloned and to verify that their cards haven’t been compromised they are asked to purchase high value jewellery or gold which suspects then arrange to be collected by a courier.
Due to the banks intervening, of the seven reports received four of the victims did not hand over any money or goods to the fraudsters.
The fraudsters sound very plausible and tell the victims not to inform anyone of their contact.
In one recent report, the elderly victim suffered complications of a mini-stroke during the incident due to the stress. This highlights the physical and mental harm that is caused on these elderly victims who are being coerced by the fraudsters.
There are various different scams used in an attempt to take money from the elderly and vulnerable.
In some cases, the victims have been contacted and informed that an attempt was made to access their bank account fraudulently. The fraudsters asked the victim to transfer the money in their account to another bank account they provide details for.
Nicole McIntyre from the force Economic Crime Unit, said: “These types of offences are borderless crimes, those responsible target victims not necessarily in their own area but across the country. We work closely with forces across the country to ensure any intelligence identified during investigations is shared.
“A number of warnings have been issued about these crimes 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.
“Occasionally suspects will use local taxi or courier companies, who unknowingly accept the job. We would ask that people remain vigilant and if they are contacted to collect packages be mindful of who they are collecting these from if they have any suspicions to report them to the police immediately.”