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Important information from Thames Valley Police issued today:

Thames Valley Police is reminding residents to remain vigilant and not become a victim of fraud after recent incidents of courier fraud in which vulnerable victims were targeted.

Between last Monday (10/2) and Friday (14/2), four incidents occurred where residents received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police Fraud Investigation Unit, who said they had two suspects in custody who had cloned their bank cards. They asked the victims to call back a number, after which their card details including their pin were taken.

The victims were then told to put the card in an envelope and hand it over to the courier who came to pick it up as they were needed urgently by the forensic team.

Three of the incidents were attempted courier frauds as the victims did not hand over their personal details, however in one of the incidents details were handed over and £3,000 was stolen from the victim’s bank account.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Jackie Daniels, of Twyford neighbourhood policing team, said: “I would urge anyone who may have information about the incident to contact the police.

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

“I would also urge everyone to follow the crime prevention advice below and get a better understanding of what courier fraud is.”

If you have any information with respect to the incident above, call Thames Valley Police non emergency number 101 and ask to speak to PCSO Daniels.

Also known as vishing, 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 - current favourite 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 – a so called “mule account”.

The fraudster will then arrange for either an innocent cab company or associate 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, use the card 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

Source Thames Valley Police 

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