Public warned to be on their guard against fraudsters claiming to be the police

Members of the public are being warned to be on their guard against criminals claiming to be from the police in a scam known as ‘courier fraud’.

Courier fraudsters will attempt to convince people they are legitimate police officers, often claiming to be from the ‘fraud squad’ or ‘New Scotland Yard’ for example.

But they are not genuine officers. They are in fact the very criminals they claim to be targeting when they target their potential victims.

Tactics often deployed by these con artists include attempting to persuade people to part with cash or expensive items like watches which are later collected by a fake courier such as a taxi driver who is working with the bogus police officer on the phone.

The caller will tell their victim to call 999 to confirm the details to police, except they stay on the phone so when they pick up again thinking they have dialled police, they instead speak to another person pretending to be an officer.

Other ways they attempt to deceive are to claim to be a police officer calling to say your bank card had been used for a fraudulent transaction.

The fraudster would then lie about an investigation being conducted, that they would cancel the victim’s cards but to do this they had to hand them over to be collected by a fake colleague.

They can sound convincing as they might mention an address and basic details about bank accounts before asking them to place cards in an ‘safe place’ outside their home or another specified location.

Remember, courier fraud can seem convincing but no police officer from any force will ever ask you to make a payment or purchase, withdraw or transfer money or ask for your bank details.

If anyone does it will be a scam. Put the phone down and call the police or your bank from another landline or mobile to check, not the line you were called on.

Incidents like these are being tackled as part of Operation Prospero, which directly targets offenders posing as police officers, working in conjunction with Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.

For more information about door-to-door and courier fraud please visit Door-to-door and courier fraud | West Mercia Police

Anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by a bogus police officer should call 101 or report it via our website Report a crime | West Mercia Police

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