There has been a huge rise in ‘Courier Fraud’ across the area which is primarily committed against elderly or more vulnerable people.
Generally Courier Fraud is where the fraudster rings their victim out of the blue. They often then claim to be from the victim’s bank and ask various questions, ultimately asking for the card holder’s PIN. Other versions of the crime have the caller claiming to be a Police Officer who is apparently investigating card fraud and needs your assistance to investigate the matter.
The stories given down the phone vary, but usually it’s to the effect that some fraudulent activity has occurred on the victim’s card and the caller is ringing to put this matter right. They obtain the PIN during the conversation, but then audaciously arrange to have the ‘bad’ card collected so it can be replaced with a new card.
The debit/credit card is collected, sometimes by an unwitting participant such as a taxi driver or a courier company. The card is taken to a pre-arranged location where the fraudster is then in possession of your card and the PIN.
Of course, no new card is on route and it is often several days before the person realises they have been the victim of a crime – often when they are contacted by their real bank to check why thousands of pounds have suddenly be spent on their account.
Fraudsters tend to buy high value goods with the stolen cards, such as iPads and expensive watches and jewellery.
Hampshire Police is targeting these criminals so if you have received a call trying to obtain your card details, even if you were wise enough to put the phone down and not disclose anything, please do report it.
If you have elderly or more vulnerable friends, family or neighbours please do keep an eye out for them. They may be perceived to be generally less technologically aware, more trusting of someone ‘in authority’ or to have more disposable income and are therefore targeted by these criminals.
Remember, if you have information about any crime, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or click www.crimestoppers-uk.org where you can also give details anonymously.
For further Crimestoppers updates please follow me on Twitter @HantsCrimestopp
PC 741 Simon Wright