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Police warn of delivery scam

Fraudsters operating across Hertfordshire 

Image courtesy Hertfordshire Constabulary

A parcel is delivered to your door. You sign for it, but when you open it you realise you didn’t order the item. Later, someone claiming to be from a courier company arrives to say the parcel was delivered to the wrong address and that they have been sent to collect it. According to Hertfordshire Constabulary, this is yet another con by fraudsters operating across the county.

Police have released images of some people they would like to identify as part of an investigation into a series of scams.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Sam Khanna, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit says that in the reported instances the packages have contained either iPhones or laptops and have been despatched by the online electrical retailer AO. Shortly after delivery a courier wearing a DPD uniform has arrived to collect the packages.

DCI Khanna says fraudsters are ordering items, possibly using cloned credit or debit card details and getting them delivered to other people’s addresses, so that they can then try to collect them by posing as couriers. Police are keen to talk to the people in the photographs because fraud squad officers believe they might have information which could assist police with their investigation.
“If goods are delivered that you have not ordered and are marked with your name and address, you should inform the company that sent it and wait for them to send a courier. Always check with them which courier company is making the collection and when they will arrive.
“If someone knocks on the door claiming to have come to pick it up after it was delivered by mistake, think twice about handing it over. Are they from the same company that just delivered it? Can you see a company vehicle? Just because they are in a uniform does not mean they are from the company as they claim.
“If someone tries to deliver a parcel you’ve not ordered, refuse to accept it so that it goes back to the depot or the sender. If you have handed a parcel over please report it to Action Fraud. If someone is at your door claiming to have come to pick up a parcel you didn’t order, ring 999.”
Anyone who recognises the people in the images should go to www.herts.police.uk/report, use online web chat, or call 101.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has offered the following crime prevention advice:
  • If possible, don’t accept or sign for parcels you haven’t ordered.
  • If a parcel you have received is not something you have ordered, you should not hand the parcel over to someone calling at your door unless you have made a prior arrangement for its collection and you are able to check the identity of the caller.
  • If you realise a parcel you have received is something you have not ordered, you should immediately contact the company to arrange for its collection - ask how to ensure the identity of the person collecting it.
  • If you have already handed over a package in the circumstances described contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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