Elderly victims losing more than £30,000 through courier fraud

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 June 2014

Archant

COURIER fraud is being targeted after a spate of elderly victims were targeted by conmen in the region.

In Avon and Somerset, 15 offences have been recorded against unsuspecting victims, with one losing a sum of £34,000 to a fraud.

Zephyr, the south west’s organised crime unit, say most cases involve crook contacting normally elderly victims by telephone with bogus requests for them to withdraw large amounts of money before it is picked up by courier to be ‘forensically examined’ as part of criminal investigations.

DCI Will White of Zephyr said: “We really don’t know the extent of this extremely worrying problem. It is possible that the thousands of pounds which have been demanded and lost and the sums that we have been prevented from being surrendered may only be the tip of the iceberg.

“It is possible that some victims may feel too embarrassed, ashamed or humiliated to come forward and report that they have been duped.

“We would like to hear from these people, so that we can establish how widespread this particular crime is and so that support and advice can be provided.”

Another scam sees victims informed by a fraudster claiming to be a London-based police officer that two people have been arrested in the capital with bank cards containing the victim’s details, and they are eventually encouraged to provide banking details and withdraw cash.

DCI White said: “The police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.”

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