Warning about Sudden Increase In Courier Fraud
|Police are reminding Surrey residents, especially the elderly, to stay on the alert for bogus phone calls and visitors after a sudden, sharp increase in courier fraud in the county.
Since 1 June the force has received 20 reports of this type of fraud, a crime which sees the suspect impersonate an official from the police or the victim’s bank.
The caller alleges that there has been unauthorised use of a debit or credit card, that someone has been arrested and that there is an investigation underway. They state that they need the resident’s help with the investigation and need their PIN and card details provided either over the phone, or handed to a courier who they will send. In four of the recent Surrey cases, a courier turned up at the victim’s home.
All the victims were over 60 with the majority being over 75. The oldest victim was 94 years old. Sixteen of the 20 victims targeted were female, with the vast majority living alone. In one unsuccessful case the victim’s husband had passed away just two weeks beforehand.
Local officers have responded to the reports and have provided support and, because we know fraud victims can be repeatedly targeted, advice about prevention.
PC Bernadette Lawrie BEM, the Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Surrey Police said:
Surrey Police’s top tips to help stop this type of fraud are:
– Act with care if you get an unsolicited phone call
For further advice and information on preventing this type of fraud, see the Surrey Police website linked here: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/wsi/watch-schemes-initiatives/os/operation-signature/