UK police forces reach 100 criminals arrested for evil fraud targeting the elderly
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Police forces up and down the country have been cracking down on criminals who commit courier fraud, with assistance from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
In January this year, the City of London Police, the national policing lead force for fraud, co-ordinated a courier fraud campaign consisting of awareness raising and enforcement activity. Over this period, 44 people were arrested.
The intelligence work led by the NFIB to help identify offenders and victims from across the country continued following the campaign, with forces being frequently briefed on the current intelligence picture.
Since then, a further 56 people have been arrested taking the total to 100 courier fraudsters apprehended by police.
T/ Commander Clinton Blackburn, National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, said:
“Courier fraud is a grossly under-reported crime, usually due to victims being embarrassed and ashamed they have become a victim. Criminals committing courier fraud are nearly always part of broader criminal gangs: they are persuasive and can be aggressive. This can be particularly intimidating when they turn up on a victim’s doorstep. That’s why we have continued to focus on tackling this contemptible crime.
“Together with colleagues in other forces, we’re sending a loud, clear message from policing to courier fraudsters: your criminal activity won’t be tolerated. If you have been a victim of this despicable crime, please report to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or reporting online here.”
The NFIB collate intelligence on suspect descriptions, aliases used, vehicles involved in the crimes, methodology used by the criminals, bank account information and telephone numbers, and update police forces on a weekly basis.
Having this dedicated resource has enabled work to be done on a national level, looking at the whole picture, meaning pieces of the puzzle aren’t being missed. It has also helped alleviate pressure on forces at a local level, with the competing policing pressures in their areas.
Arrests (November 2019 – 21 August 2020)
Avon and Somerset
City of London
Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit
North East Regional Special Operations Unit
What is Courier Fraud?
Courier fraud is where criminals call someone, pretending to be a police officer or bank official. They warn the victim that there are corrupt bank staff at the branch they use, who are intent on stealing their money, and ask them for their help. Typically, the caller then tells the victim to withdraw a sum of money and a courier is sent to their home address to collect it.
How to protect yourself and your loved ones
Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone, or offer to pick up your bank card by courier. Hang up if you get a call like this.
If you need to phone your bank back to check the call was legitimate, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.
Your debit or credit card is yours: don’t let a stranger take it from you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled or expired, you should destroy it yourself.
Spot the tell-tale signs
Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity but is asking you for personal information, or even your PIN, to verify who you are.
They’re offering to call you back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call there’s no dial tone.
They say they’re trying to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you, to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.