Detectives in Northamptonshire are issuing a warning to the public following an incident of courier fraud in Wellingborough on Monday, April 27.
At about 10am, fraudsters pretending to be police officers called a woman in her 80s and told her they needed her to withdraw £2000 to enable them to investigate alleged corruption within her bank.
When she asked what she should tell her bank if they enquired as to why she was withdrawing such a large amount, the scammers suggested she tell them that her children needed the money due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The offenders arrived at her house and took the money, promising to reimburse her once their ‘investigation’ had completed. They never did and never attempted to contact her again.
Detective Inspector Dave Harley, said: “Courier fraud often targets the elderly who are left feeling vulnerable and unsafe in their own homes as a result of becoming a victim of this type of crime.
“The lady yesterday lost over £2000 to a sophisticated scam which left her feeling panicked and rushed into actions she later regretted.
“The criminals carrying out these scams are very devious and know how to manipulate their victims.
“Please speak to your elderly relatives about this kind of scam and remind them that a police officer or bank staff member will never ask for your PIN or personal details or request you hand over cash.
“A genuine member of either organisation will also have no issue with a person putting the phone down and ringing 101 or the bank to establish their true identity.”
Tips to avoid becoming a courier fraud victim:
– Remember that neither a bank or the police will ever ask for your PIN or arrange collection of your bank card
– Your bank and the police will never ask you to make high value purchases or withdraw cash to send for examination
– Your bank, the police and any genuine organisation will never contact you and ask for your online banking log in details, including a one-time password, or to move money to another account
– If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately and contact the police and your bank via a different phone line, using a number you have verified. If you do not have another phone line you can use, hang up and wait five minutes until the line has fully cleared