Courier and telephone fraud
This is a fraud that mainly targets the elderly and vulnerable. These scams are becoming increasingly prevalent in Devon. If you are elderly, or know someone who is elderly or vulnerable, please ensure you or they know how to spot and avoid this type of fraud.
Victims of courier fraud can lose thousands of pounds, but the harm extends beyond that as they then feel foolish for having been tricked and consequently also lose their dignity and confidence.
How it works
A fraudster telephones a victim claiming to be a police officer or bank official. They might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address.
After trust has been established the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;
Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.
The suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.
A business such as a jewellers is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.
Victims are then asked to co-operate in an “investigation” by withdrawing money or purchasing an expensive item. They will then be told to hand it over to a courier to be taken for examination - but the courier will be a fraudster.
The fraudsters are extremely convincing and put pressure on the victim by imposing an urgency as to when the handover to the courier must happen. Elderly or otherwise vulnerable people are not confident in challenging what they think is a voice of authority.
The police and banks will NEVER contact people like this, and it’s OK to hang up and check by other means.
For more detailed information see the Devon & Cornwall Police website HERE