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26 February 2014, 06:00
Police are reminding residents to remain vigilant and not become a victim of fraud after recent incidents of courier fraud in which vulnerable victims were targeted.
On the evening of Monday 17 February three separate victims aged between 66 and 70-years-old from Bletchley, Emerson Valley and Willen Park, all received telephone calls from a person purporting to come from the Metropolitan Police Fraud Squad.
The victims were advised that the staff in their local bank were being investigated, and to assist with enquiries, they were asked to attend their branch the following day and withdraw cash, which would then be collected by courier for fingerprinting. The victims were instructed to place the money in a box or bag, which would then be collected by a courier.
This scam has taken place across the Hertfordshire, Befordshire, Northamptonshire and Thames Valley police area.
It often targets the elderly and vulnerable, sees the victim receive a phone call from fraudsters who say they are from their bank or the police. They tell the victim that they are calling because there has been suspicious activity on their account and advise them to call the bank from the number on the back of their card.
The victim disconnects the phone and dials their bank or police, however the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though a number is dialed, it is not connected and the victim is still on the phone to the fraudster, who then gains their trust and asks them to either say or key in their pin, before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered.
The fraudsters who carry out this type of crime are very skilled in portraying themselves as authentic bank employees or police detectives, and make the scam seem genuine by asking the victim to ring their bank. Our advice is if you receive such a call then end it immediately.
We would like to ask residents to let any elderly or vulnerable family members, friends, or neighbours know about the scam. Remember, your bank will never attend your home; and neither the bank nor the police will ever collect your bank card or ask for your PIN. The more we can spread the word about this type of fraud, the less success the fraudsters will have.
There are a number of variations to the scam, including:
If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website. In an emergency, dial 999.