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Thames Valley residents lose over one million pounds to callous courier fraud criminals

Alert message sent 19/05/2022 10:26:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

In 2021 alone, 181 Thames Valley residents reported a courier fraud with total losses of £1,506,131.
Typically, courier fraudsters target their victims by claiming to be a police officer or a member of staff from a victim’s bank and they often pressure people into making quick financial decisions to assist with fictitious investigations.
The warning comes as a new list of tactics used by courier fraudsters has been unveiled by the City of London Police which encompasses the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). An analysis of data from the NFIB has highlighted four modus operandi (MOs) which are now more commonly being used by fraudsters.

Detective Inspector Duncan Wynn, head of Thames Valley Police’s Central Fraud Unit, said:
“Courier fraud can be a particularly callous crime and is often specifically targeted at older people, by exploiting their trust in the police and their bank in order to steal from them. Courier fraudsters are nearly always part of broader, sophisticated criminal gangs.
“Thames Valley Police is increasing investigative activity in response to those committing these offences in order to disrupt their activity, prevent them targeting victims, and to bring them before the courts, and ultimately send them to prison.
“Police and banks will never ask for full passwords and pin numbers or ask for money or goods to be handed or transferred to them.
“Anybody being cold called and asked for personal details, to withdraw money or purchase high value items, is urged to end the calls and seek advice from trusted friends or family members, or to call their banks directly using the number on their bankcards.
 “Recent trends have seen jewellery shops and private hire vehicles used by criminals to facilitate this crime. We urge persons working in these industries to be extra vigilant and to contact the police to report any suspicions.”

For more information and advice on warnig signs to look out for, please visit our website.
Message sent by
Emily Boneham (Police, Campaigns Officer, Thames Valley)

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