Police are advising that in 2021 alone, 3,625 people across the country were victims of courier fraud with loses totalling more than £15.2 million.
An analysis of data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has highlighted four modus operandi (MOs) that are now more commonly being used by fraudsters:
– Bank card expiry: Fraudsters claim to be from the victim’s bank and say their card is no longer valid. The scammers ask for the pin number and then send a “courier” to collect the card before using it for fraudulent purposes
– Purchasing high end items: The suspects pretend to be police officers and ask the victim to help with an undercover operation by purchasing expensive items like watches, jewellery and gold. Once the item is bought, the victim will hand over the item to the criminals
– Counterfeit cash/ bank investigation: A person claiming to be the police or bank official informs the victim that they need to help with a banking corruption investigation. The victim is told to withdraw a large amount of money and the cash is picked up later by a “courier” to “check for fingerprints or to identify counterfeit bank notes.”
– Computer takeover: The fraudsters telephones the victim, purporting to be from their internet service provider, saying that they have had an issue with their internet connectivity and the victim is due compensation. The victim is persuaded to download a remote access application, giving the suspects access to their home computers. The fraudster persuades the victims into thinking they have been paid too much compensation and the victim then withdraws cash to pay the money back, which is later collected by a “courier”.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.