More courier fraud in Sedgemoor

Avon & Somerset Police are warning the public to beware of another outbreak of courier fraud in Somerset. They say that thousands of pounds have been lost by victims in recent weeks. Recent incidents have been reported in Sedgemoor as well as BANES, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. However there is no reason to believe that criminals are not actively targeting victims in the rest of Somerset.

It is an old established pattern. Unsuspecting victims report receiving calls from criminals claiming to be from the police or their bank. They ask them to withdraw cash and to leave it for a courier to collect.

Fraud protect officer Amy Horrobin said: “Courier fraud can affect anyone. The recent incidents have seen people aged 70 and older particularly targeted. We’d ask people make sure friends and family know what signs to look out for. What the fraudsters basically do is prey on people’s good nature to help and they can do it in different ways.”

In one recent courier fraud scam, the criminal pretended to work for the victim’s bank. They claimed to be investigating counterfeit notes at their local branch. They persuaded the victim to go to the bank to withdraw money. But they are told not to tell the bank they have been asked to do this. The caller says they will send someone around to the victim’s house to collect the notes. Just so they can be taken away to see if they are counterfeit. In reality they just drive off with the victim’s money.

These are criminals preying on the elderly and vulnerable. It is the lowest of the low.

On one occasion when the fraudster claimed to be a police officer. They encouraged them to check with their local force they had someone with that name. But the fraudster didn’t hang up. So when the victim called the ‘police’ seconds later they ended up just continuing the conversation with the criminals.

Please be aware of these criminals and their techniques. No bank or police operation would ever do this. If any of these things happen to you or your loved ones, it is a fraud.

What should I do if targeted in a courier fraud scam?
Take your time.
Consider would the police or you bank really ask you to do this?
No. Don’t panic and hang up.
If you don’t provide any bank details your money is safe
If you are concerned and want to call the police on 101 or your bank with the number they advertise (not any number given over the phone during the scam) to check, then leave it 5-10 minutes and listen out for a dialling tone before calling, or use a different phone. Just so the fraudster doesn’t stay on the other end of the line.
Report it to Action Fraud online or on 0300 123 2040. Call 999 for police in an emergency

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