Arrest made in connection with courier fraud incident – Warwick
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The incident happened over two days, Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 October, when the victim, an 84-year-old man from Warwick, received a number of calls from someone claiming to be a Detective Constable from the Metropolitan Police in London. The caller stated that the victim’s cards had been cloned and that there were concerns for the bank accounts he holds.
The victim was asked to provide the account numbers for his savings accounts and to withdraw around £6,000 to give to a courier for safe keeping. To make the story more believable, the fraudster asked the victim to call 999 and speak to Leamington Police if he didn’t believe the caller and also gave the victim a password which the courier would say upon collecting the cash.
The victim made contact with the Metropolitan Police to verify the identity of the caller who in turn contacted Warwickshire Police. An investigation was launched which saw Warwickshire Police intercept and arrest the courier, a 54-year-old man from Coventry, when he is believed to have turned up at the victim’s address to collect money. He was arrested on Friday, 16 October on suspicion of fraud by false representation and has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Detective Inspector Rich Brown from Warwickshire Police said: “Thankfully the victim in this case did not lose any money but sadly this has not been the case for some other victims, who have lost significant amounts of money as fraudsters continue to prey on individuals, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable.
“The fraudsters’ stories are often believable and they will put a lot of pressure on victims to convince them to withdraw or transfer money, often for fraud reasons.
“We still believe that specific areas are being targeted in which the fraudsters will contact several people in a given area and then get a courier to wait close by in their vehicle ready to collect cash once the victim has withdrawn it.
“I would therefore urge anyone who sees a vehicle behaving suspiciously in their area that perhaps you haven’t seen before to please get in touch either via our website or by calling 101.
“Please also think about your loved ones and neighbours and make sure they know how to avoid scams such as these. We will not tolerate crimes of this nature, which can have devastating impacts on victims who are often left feeling scared and worried that their home is no longer safe, which is why we will do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.”
The police or your bank will never:
Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
Ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
Ask you to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping
Ask you to purchase high value items such as gift cards
Send someone to your home to collect cash or other high value items, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers
If you are unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and then use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity
Don’t give out your personal information to anyone over the phone, including your PIN number and bank account or card details
If you have given out your personal banking details to someone over the phone or have given someone your card details, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card
Where to go for help
If you receive a call from someone purporting to be a police officer and asking you to withdraw or transfer money, call Warwickshire Police on 101 – the more intelligence we receive, the more likely we are to catch those responsible