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Home Breaking Nottinghamshire Police have issued an urgent warning about the ongoing problem of courier fraud, in which fraudsters dupe victims by pretending to be from the police before sending someone to collect cash or valuable items

Nottinghamshire Police have issued an urgent warning about the ongoing problem of courier fraud, in which fraudsters dupe victims by pretending to be from the police before sending someone to collect cash or valuable items

The force has received 20 reports of the problem since January 1, with some of the targeted victims losing thousands of pounds. Courier fraud is mostly committed by organised crime groups (OCGs), and a member of the OCG, known as the ‘victim communicator,’ calls vulnerable potential victims and pretends to be a police officer. Victims are asked to withdraw money from their bank, buy an expensive item, and/or provide their bank details or credit card to aid in an operation. Money, items, or documents are then given to the ‘courier,’ who comes to the victim’s house or meets them nearby on the promise that the money or item will be returned or compensated. Unfortunately, no compensation is offered, and the money will not be returned. People in Nottinghamshire have been contacted by a man posing as a police officer from Cheshire Police or The Metropolitan Police. The phoney caller informs the recipient that a bank card in their name has been discovered in possession of a relative, who has been arrested. They also inform the person that counterfeit money was discovered on the relative, raising suspicions that the person’s bank is issuing counterfeit notes. The individual is then persuaded to withdraw money from their bank so that a ‘police officer’ can come to their home and collect it as part of the alleged police investigation. To confirm that what they are being told is correct, the person receiving the phone call should hang up and dial 191. However, that number is also not genuine and directs the caller to another fraudster involved in the scam. Dale Richardson, a fraud protection officer for Nottinghamshire Police, urged the public to be wary of the scam. “Over the last week, we’ve seen a significant increase in this type of fraud,” she said. “While no losses were reported in many of the cases, some victims lost approximately £20,000 in total. “Our message is simple: the police will never call and ask you to withdraw money from your bank account, nor will we ever use a courier. “We’re also advising people that 191 is not a telephone number associated with any emergency service, so please do not call this number. “If someone claiming to be a police officer asks you to call 191, they are a fraudster. Our advice is to hang up the phone, wait 10 minutes for the line to clear, or call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 from another phone. “If you go to the bank, tell them what you’ve been told to do, even if the person who called you told you not to.” Some indicators of courier fraud include: Typically, courier fraud begins with an unsolicited phone call to the victim. The suspect will usually pose as a bank official, a police officer, or a computer or utility engineer. Courier fraudsters will typically request that the victim buy high-value items such as a Rolex watch and gold bullion, withdraw cash, or provide a bank card for courier collection. Fraudsters will instruct victims not to tell their family or friends about their activities. When committing courier fraud, criminals will request that the victim hang up the phone so that they can call their bank for confirmation while keeping the line open. The suspect then poses as a bank employee and provides false confirmation. Fraudsters will also arrange for a courier to meet the victim at the location where they purchased the item. There are a number of services available to help combat nuisance calls, such as the trueCall system, which allows calls from friends and family to go through but asks unknown callers to identify themselves and blocks unwanted callers. Anyone interested in obtaining a trueCall system should dial 101 and ask to speak with Dale Richardson.

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