Spate of courier scams cons residents out of £93,000 in six months
PUBLISHED: 16:12 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:12 06 October 2016
Police are warning residents to be on their guard against the fraudsters
A spate of courier scams across the borough has led to residents being conned out of nearly £93,000 in the past six months.
Police have warned members of the public to be on their guard against the scammers, with elderly people particularly at risk of being targeted.
The scam involves criminals calling a member of the public, claiming to be from their bank and stating that their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on their card, or that their card is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
The victim may be asked to ring the bank back using the phone number printed on the back of their bank card, but the fraudster keeps the line open so the call is directed back to them.
With the victim now convinced they are talking to someone from the bank, they are asked to provide their full card details and key in their PIN so that their existing card can be ‘cancelled’ and their new one ‘activated’or ‘authorised’.
The fraudster will then attend the person’s address or send an innocent courier company driver to collect the card. Having obtained the victim’s name, address, bank details, card and PIN, they are able to use the cards fraudulently.
Inspector Phyllis Rooney from Bromley Police said: “These courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because for them the pay-off is immense.
“We want people to question even truly genuine sounding calls and, most importantly, remember police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card, so you should never give these away. They will also never ask for money or send a courier to collect a card.
“These fraudsters often ask victims to ring their bank or the police, however, the fraudster keeps the telephone line open so even though the person has called the number for their bank or the police, the call does not go through. Instead they are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster.
“If you do receive such a call, hang the phone up immediately. And if you have been a victim of one of these scams, please contact us so that we can investigate”.
Since April 2014 there have been 167 courier scams, with residents losing nearly £300,000 - although the crime is believed to be seriously under-reported.