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Local police warn of “courier fraud” rise

Majority of victims are older people


Don't give personal details over the phone, no matter how plausible the caller sounds Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Don't give personal details over the phone, no matter how plausible the caller sounds
Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Courier fraud is on the rise, according to Hertfordshire police, with the average loss per victim estimated to be more than £8,300. The majority of those taken in by the scam (62%) are women aged 75 and older.

In the last two years total losses are reported to be around £10.5 million nationwide.

Hertfordshire Constabulary courier fraud poster

How the fraud works


According to Action Fraud, criminals carry out courier fraud by telephoning the victim claiming to be a police officer or bank official.
“They claim there’s an issue with your bank account, or request your help with an investigation. They try to trick you into handing over your money or your bank details. They may tell you to withdraw your cash, or put your bank card in an envelope, or to buy high value items. Someone, a ‘courier’, will then come to collect the cash, envelope or item.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary says its working with banks to fight this type of fraud through the ‘Banking Protocol’ scheme, which they say has already prevented £38 million losses and led to 231 arrests in 2018.

Protect yourself and others, especially the elderly


Officers are asking for the public’s help in alerting those who “may be susceptible to this type of fraud, particularly older people who are often at home in the daytime”.

Police have issued the following tips:

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to withdraw or transfer your money.  They would never call to ask for your full PIN or password.
  • Beware any time you are asked for personal or financial information. If you feel unsure, never hesitate to contact your bank directly, using a number you trust, such as the one listed on your bank statements or on the back of your card. Alternatively, seek advice from a trusted friend or family member.
This alert was circulated by the Hertfordshire Constabulary Online Watch Link (OWL) service.




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