City of London Police campaign thwarts courier fraudsters in their tracks
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A City jewellers prevented a 93-year-old man from losing more than £100,000 to courier fraud, following a City of London Police campaign.
The City of London Police launched a campaign last week to raise awareness of the signs of courier fraud and called upon key organisations and sectors to help prevent people falling victim to this financially devastating crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Parish, from the City of London Police, said:
“Courier fraud can cause people to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds which is why it is so important for us to work together with businesses, and in particular jewellers, to help stop people from falling victim to this crime.
“Our campaign and previous work with City jewellers to raise awareness of how to spot the signs of courier fraud has clearly had an impact and we are pleased that in this instance we were able to help prevent an elderly and vulnerable person from losing such a significant sum of money.”
The 93-year-old victim and his daughter had been targeted by courier fraudsters via their home landline. The elderly victim had been contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer who was asking for money. The victim withdrew £7,400 from their bank account, after being told what story to tell the bank, and it was collected from their home address.
The victim later received another phone call asking for £25,000 but they told the caller they did not have this money, so instead £2,000 was collected from their home address by a person on a motorbike.
Days later, the victim and his daughter received a phone call asking them to purchase two Rolex watches worth a total of £115,000 from Kettle Club on Liverpool Street. A taxi collected them from their home and took them to the jewellers in the City of London.
The victim and his daughter went to purchase the watches but staff at the shop thought it was suspicious as they had received messages earlier about the watches they were trying to purchase.
Staff at the shop called the police and officers attended. The watches were not sold to the victim or his daughter.
Samuel Hesketh, co-owner of Kettle Club, said:
“The customer was elderly and frail and when they asked to buy an expensive watch, I called the police out of concern they might be being scammed. There’s definitely more awareness of the signs to look out for and it goes against everything I stand for just to turn a blind eye.”
Officers from CoLP had previously visited the jewellers to talk to staff about courier fraud and the signs to look out for. Kettle Club had also seen messaging about courier fraud which had been circulated by SaferGems, a UK initiative against crime in the jewellery, pawnbroker, arts and antiques industry.
Upon attending the jewellers, officers have provided crime prevention and safeguarding advice to the victim and his daughter.