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Bracknell residents warned about courier fraud

Published: 22 Apr 2014 17:300 comments

Residents in Bracknell Forest are being asked to be on their guard after an attempted courier fraud incident took place on Tuesday (15/4).

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Courier fraud, which often targets the elderly and vulnerable, usually begins with the victim receiving an unsolicited telephone call from a fraudster purporting to be from the police or their bank. The fraudster goes on to explain that their system has spotted a fraudulent payment on their card or that their card is due to expire and needs to be replaced.

The caller is then usually advised to call the bank by dialing the number on the back of their card. However, unbeknown to the caller, the fraudster keeps the telephone line open so even though the person thinks they have called the bank, the call does not go through.

During the process, the fraudster manages to gain the caller’s trust and goes on to ask them to either say or key in their pin before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered.

Once the fraudster has all the information they need, a courier is then sent to collect the card from the victim, and a replacement is delivered at the same time, which is not a genuine bank card.

At this stage, the fraudster has successfully obtained the person’s name, address, full bank details, the card itself and the PIN. The bank cards are then used fraudulently without the victim’s knowledge.

Investigating Officer PC Steve Norris said: “I would like to reiterate that police or banks would never ask anyone for their bank details over the phone and then send someone to the house to collect your cards.

“We have had three reports of courier fraud in Bracknell Forest, which thankfully is relatively low number of cases compared to other areas in the Thames Valley. However, I urge local residents to share our crime prevention advice with their friends, family and vulnerable members of the community.

“If you have been a victim and not reported it yet, or had someone attempt the same or similar scam on you, then also get in touch.

“In the last two cases the victim became suspicious and called us, which is what we would like more people to be able to do.

“I would also urge everyone to follow the crime prevention advice below and get a better understanding of what courier fraud is. Sign up to Thames Valley Alerts to receive crime updates for your area at www.ThamesValleyAlert.co.uk (opens new window).”

If you have any information about the recent incidents, call Thames Valley Police non emergency number 101 and ask to speak to PC 7578 Steve Norris

Courier fraud is where the fraudster cold calls the victim on their landline (whether in possession of the victim’s details or not). The general target group for these fraudsters is 60-years-old and over

They make claims designed to encourage the victim to divulge specific personal information ultimately requesting the victim to provide their PIN. Some of the most common are:

Claiming to be police – citing recent arrests of individuals in possession of the victim’s details and therefore they require the victim’s assistance.

The victim’s bank card(s) has a design fault and needs replacing. They ask the victim to cut their card down the centre ensuring the integrity of the chip.

The fraudsters cite a fault with the victim’s online bank card reader.

A corrupt bank employee working at the victim’s bank and they need the victim’s assistance in catching the culprit.

Bank card required for forensic examination re police investigation.

To assist with a police investigation and ask the victim to actually go to the shops and purchase goods – the current favourite is Rolex watches.Also asking victims for their personal goods such as iPhones etc.

Some of the courier frauds have progressed where the victim will be called on a second occasion and requested to withdraw all the cash from their other current account “due to corrupt bank employee” and place the funds into a separately named account - so called “mule account”.

The fraudster will then arrange either an associate or innocent cab company to collect the bank card from the victim’s home address and deliver it to a prearranged location where the card(s) are picked up. Consequently the fraudster is in possession of both the victim’s bank card and their PIN.

The offender will either use the card to withdraw cash, to purchase online goods or use it in stores to purchase high value goods.

Please remember the following:

Police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card

Never give your PIN or bank card to anyone

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately

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