A victim has spoken out to warn members of the public after he was the target of courier fraud.
Dorset Police received a report that on Wednesday, May 25, a man aged in his 80s in Poole received a call from someone claiming to be from his bank. They told him he needed to move his money into another account and persuaded him to send £2,500 to an address in the London area.
After the fraud was reported, officers were able to intercept the delivery and return the funds to the victim. An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
The victim in the case has now bravely shared his experience in a bid to raise awareness and encourage others who are targeted to report incidents to police.
He said: “I answered the phone and because they were so clear about my account, I thought this has to be the bank.
“For some reason I just carried on and did it. After a while - at around 1am the next morning I just started thinking this is not right. I called the police and they said they would look into it straight away.”
The victim said he would urge anyone who has any doubts about a call to challenge the caller and take steps to validate their identity. He also added that he was pleased he reported the matter to police soon after the incident and that, thanks to the swift response by officers, he was able to get his money back.
He said: “What I would say is if you have got a similar call, say to them can you give me a number to call back on and then go into your bank and see if they have any information on it.
“I’m really pleased I got in touch with the police. I think anybody else that has the same thing like that, and makes the mistake of answering the call and doing what they say, I would say get in touch with the police straight away.”
The man added: “I felt so stupid but at the time it was so convincing, it’s hard to believe they came across so positive and had everything spot on.
“I just wonder how they got my details.”
A further report was received on Wednesday, June 8, that another elderly man in Poole was targeted by scammers who called him and pretended to be from his bank. They persuaded him to send £4,350 to an address in London, which officers from Dorset Police were able to recover and return to the victim.
Detective Sergeant Jane Millard, of Dorset Police’s Fraud Triage Team, said:
“We will carry out a full investigation into reports of this nature or refer them to Action Fraud where appropriate.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge members of the public to be vigilant and make sure elderly relatives are aware of this scam. Your bank should never ask you to withdraw large sums of money and send it to a postal address.
“If you have any doubts about the validity of someone who contacts you claiming to be from your bank or another organisation, take their details then ring back through a listed number and ask to speak to that individual, or go into your local branch.”
This example is from Dorset, but courier fraud is happening all over the country and UK police forces recently united to launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the crime.
Also, here in the East Midlands, Derbyshire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Police have issued warnings:
Derbyshire: Police warn of an increase in courier fraud
Nottinghamshire: Police warn of courier fraud after victims lose thousands
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud, please report it to the police on 101. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Anyone who is contacted by someone they do not know, or cannot verify the identity of, is urged to follow the Take Five To Stop Fraud advice.
Take Five To Stop Fraud advice
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).