Elderly victim defrauded of £53,000 in courier scam
Written by karen on 29 September 2017
Fraud investigators are advising residents on how to spot courier scams after a victim was defrauded out of £53,000.
A person pretending to be a police officer is alleged to have contacted the elderly woman in September this year.
She was asked to buy two Rolex watches from a shopping centre in Greenhithe and hand them to a waiting courier.
Enquires into the incident are ongoing.
Detectives from the Kent and Essex Crime Directorate are reviewing a number of similar frauds reported across the county in recent months.
In these cases, elderly victims have handed over cash after being tricked into thinking they are helping with a police investigation.
What is courier fraud?
Courier frauds usually start with a criminal calling your home and pretending to be a police officer.
In reported cases, they have then claimed your account is being used to pay for goods you did not order.
They also normally tell you that your bank is in on the scam and is harbouring counterfeit money, and they need your help to investigate.
You will then be asked to withdraw the cash from your account so it can be used as evidence, with arrangements made for a courier to come and collect it from you.
Variations on the scam involve people claiming to be from Trading Standards, your local bank or other organisations in a position of trust.
Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said of the Serious and Economic Crime Unit said: ‘Offenders who engage in courier fraud prey on the most vulnerable members of society.
‘We are currently conducting enquiries into this incident and others but would like to remind people how to spot a fraudulent phone call.
‘Police officers will never request your bank details or ask you to withdraw money for any reason. We will also never ask you to transfer money, purchase goods on our behalf or send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.
‘If you are given any of these instructions, it is a fraudulent approach. Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use a different phone and then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised numbers to report the fraud.’
For more information on fraud and how to report it visit the Kent Police website here.
supplied by Kent Police