North Yorkshire Police has shared six things the police or a bank will never do in bid to protect people from courier fraud.
This follows a number of incidents reported across the county this year where unsolicited callers have targeted victims, often the elderly or vulnerable, claiming to be from calling from police fraud squads in a bid to steal their money.
Typically in courier fraud, victims will receive a call on their mobile or landline by someone who claims to be from their bank or the police. They say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on their card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
They might suggest that their victims hang up the phone and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure the victim that they’re genuine. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when the victim dials the real phone number, they are still speaking to the same fraudster who continues to deceive the victim.
They’ll often ask the victim to read out their credit or debit card PIN or type it into their phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts held with the bank or elsewhere to grab more information.
They may also persuade the victim to withdraw cash to “aid the investigation” and make them lie to their bank about their reasons for withdrawing it.
They will then promise to send a police officer or courier to the victim to collect the victim’s bank card or money.
By this point, the fraudster will have the victim’s name, address, full bank details, card and its PIN or the cash that has been innocently handed over to them. They may withdraw more cash using the card and may even use the information to commit identity fraud in the victim’s name.
If you receive a call of this nature it’s important to hang up the phone and remember these six simple facts.
- The police or your bank will never phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password, even by tapping them into your phone keypad.
- The police or your bank will never ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping or to aid an investigation.
- The police or your bank will never ask you to transfer money to a safe account for fraud or investigation reasons, even if they say it is in your name.
- The police or your bank will never send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.
- The police or your bank will never ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe-keeping.
- The police or your bank will never ask you to lie to your bank about why you are withdrawing or transferring money.
If you are a victim of fraud, and the crime is in action or if you are in danger always dial 999. In a non-emergency call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit said:
“People aren’t always who they say they are. Fraudsters use a range of tactics to target people, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
“They may pretend to be from your bank, the police, a utility company, a government department or someone else you usually deal with and trust.
“Never just assume someone is who they say they are.
“Be confident and refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
“If you need to call the police or your bank back to check, wait five minutes and call someone you trust first to make sure the phone line is free or use a different line all together – one of the many tricks fraudsters use is to stay on the line after you hang up to make you think that you are speaking to someone genuine.
“And always stop and think before acting. Contact someone you know and trust such as relative, friend or neighbour for a second opinion before handing over any money or details to anyone – even if someone tells you they are genuine.”
More advice on how to keep safe from fraud can be found at northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud
If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.Last modified: July 25, 2018