Warning to be vigilant as courier fraudsters target those living in Churchdown
Main article content
Gloucestershire Constabulary is warning residents to be vigilant following courier fraud incidents targeting residents in Churchdown over recent weeks.
On three occasions residents have been targeted by fraudsters claiming to be an officer who told the victims that their bank card had been used fraudulently at a supermarket before asking for personal details to be provided.
The fraudsters stated that they were DC Matt Phillips from Bearlands Police Station in Gloucester and gave a collar number of 2144 or 2414.
One of the incidents saw fraudsters ask an elderly resident to withdraw money from her bank account so that a car could be purchased as well as withdrawing euros. She was stopped by shop staff who had concerns and no money was handed over.
In another incident the victim was called continuously and told to dial a certain number so that arrests could be made after money had been taken out of their bank account and in a final incident the victim realised that they were being scammed so they hung up before the fraudsters had a chance to ask for private details.
Courier Fraud sees criminals, posing as police officers, who call victims and ask them to help a “covert operation” by withdrawing cash, purchasing foreign currency, jewellery, or other items, which the fraudsters say is needed for their “investigation”. The fraudsters will tell the victim that their involvement must be kept secret.
A fake “police courier” is then sent to the victims home to collect money and the fraudsters tell the victim that the funds will be credited back into their bank account, but this does not happen. Victims are often asked to return to the bank and withdraw more cash, with the scam going on for days at a time.
The police will never ask you to provide bank details, obtain cash, or items to be collected and anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a fraudulent phone call can report this by calling police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Local officers will now be taking part in leaflet drops to raise awareness of this scam as well as providing crime prevention advice.
More advice to help stop you from becoming a victim of fraud is below:
1) If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
2) If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
3) The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is free and can help reduce the number of nuisance and scam calls you receive. To register, please visit: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register
4) Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine police employees.
5) Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
6) Always have a pad and pen next to the phone, if you get a suspicious call, take details, don’t get flustered, get names addresses and contact numbers. Then, disconnect the call. Walk away from the phone for at least five minutes and then contact Police to verify the details of the call
If you have been a victim of this scam please call police on 101/999 if the offender is with you or speak to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.