POLICE are warning residents to be vigilant against courier fraud scams, which are targeting elderly and vulnerable people across the region.
Courier fraud involves criminals posing as police officers or bank officials and convincing victims to hand over their cash, bank cards and PIN numbers, or other valuables to a courier.
The scammers typically contact their victims by phone and claim there is a problem with their bank account or that they are the victim of fraud or identity theft. They may also claim to be investigating a crime and need the victim’s help to gather evidence.
Once the victim has been convinced the caller is legitimate, the scammers will ask them to withdraw cash from their bank account and hand it over to a courier or to hand over their bank cards and PIN numbers.
They may also ask the victim to purchase expensive items, such as gold or jewellery, and hand them over to a courier.
In some cases, the scammers will even send a courier to the victim’s home to collect the cash or valuables.
The courier may be in a uniform or driving a vehicle that looks official, but they are actually working for the scammers.
Courier fraud is a particularly insidious type of scam because it often targets elderly and vulnerable people.
The scammers prey on their victims’ fear and trust, and they can be very persuasive.
West Midlands Police have warned people to never give out bank account details or PIN numbers to anyone over the phone, even if they claim to be from their bank or the police.
Those who receive calls from someone claiming to be from the police or bank should hang up immediately and wait a few moments to ensure the line has been disconnected. They can then call the number on their bank card to verify their identity or police on 101 if they are unsure. If possible, use a different phone line or mobile to make this call.
People should never withdraw cash from their bank account or purchase expensive items at the request of someone contacting them over the phone and if a courier arrives to collect cash, cards or valuables, refuse to hand them over and call police on 999 immediately.
People should also pass this advice onto elderly neighbours and family members about the dangers of courier fraud.
Anyone who has been victim of courier fraud should call the police, report it to their bank and report it to Action Fraud here or by calling 0300 123 2040.