Gloucestershire Constabulary is warning residents to be vigilant following a number of courier fraud incidents targeting residents in Gloucester.
At least five reports were made about a police officer claiming to be from Bearlands Police Station, who told victims that their bank card had been used fraudulently at Sainsbury’s on St Ann Way and they needed to provide details to protect their account.
Courier Fraud sees criminals, posing as police officers, call victims and ask them to help a “covert operation” by withdrawing cash, purchasing foreign currency, jewellery, or other items, which the fraudsters say is needed for their “investigation”. The fraudsters will tell the victim that their involvement must be kept secret.
A fake “police courier” is then sent to the victims home to collect the items and the fraudsters tell the victim that the funds will be credited back into their bank account, but this does not happen.
Victims are often asked to return to the bank and withdraw more cash, with the scam going on for days at a time.
The police will never ask you to provide bank details, obtain cash, or items to be collected and anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a fraudulent phone call can report this by calling police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is free and can help reduce the number of nuisance and scam calls you receive. To register, please visit: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/register
More advice to help stop you from becoming a victim of fraud is below:
If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.
If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.
Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn’t mean they are genuine police employees.
Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.
Always have a pad and pen next to the phone, if you get a suspicious call, take details, don’t get flustered, get names addresses and contact numbers. Then, disconnect the call. Walk away from the phone for at least five minutes and then contact Gloucestershire Constabulary to verify the details of the call
For more information, please visit our website: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/
Remember, we're unable to accept reports of crime through Your Neighbourhood Alerts. If you need to report something, please complete this online form: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ Always call 999 in an emergency.