Elderly and vulnerable residents in Reading Police Area have been targeted by courier fraudsters. Courier fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing over their bank cards and associated PIN (number) to a courier that arrives at their home.
Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives. The talk should cover:
- Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how polite or friendly they are. Saying ‘No thank you’ and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
- Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank cards or your money and they will never ask for your PIN number. Close the door, lock it and call 101 to speak to the police.
- Keep a mobile phone next to your landline, and if you want to make a phone call call immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone.
- If you do hand over your bank details or card, don’t panic. Call your bank immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what’s happened and cancel your cards.
- Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you, or force you into anything. If you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone you trust what’s happened.
There are many variations of the courier scam, but it usually follows this method:
- A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline, often claiming to be from the victim’s bank, the police, or to be a fraud investigator.
- The fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in the victim’s account, or that they need the victim’s help in investigating fraudulent activity at the bank.
- In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine they suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t hang up at their end to disconnect the call from the landline so even when the genuine bank/police number is dialled the victim is still talking to the fraudster.
- Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect the card and PIN, cash or in some cases take the victim to a bank to withdraw cash.