Bogus police scammers targeting young people with courier fraud scam

Fraudsters pretending to be police officers are conning residents throughout Shropshire.

West Mercia Police warned the scam, known as courier fraud, usually preys on elderly and vulnerable residents, but that recent incidents suggests young people are being targeted.

Detective Sergeant Andy Dawson said: "This type of fraud traditionally targets older, vulnerable people, however the cases we have investigated in the last 48 hours would suggest these criminals are also targeting younger people now.

“Courier fraud is where a criminal telephones you, normally knowing some minor details about you and then instructs you to go to your bank, withdraw money and hand it over to a waiting courier or one who visits your home.

"You may sometimes be asked for more personal and financial information, to confirm some account details or even to simply transfer money to another account.

"You will often be told it is part of a police investigation or that you are a victim of a fraud and this will help the police enquiry.

Hang up immediately

"Every aspect of this is a lie, it is a scam and you should hang up immediately. Wait 10 minutes then contact the police via 101.

“While each attempt may differ slightly, in that the criminal may use a different police officer’s name or police station they are calling from, the message from me to everyone remains the same; no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to visit a bank, for your personal or financial details, hand over money or transfer funds.

“I would like to reassure the community that we are vigorously investigating these crimes and want to hear from anyone who has been contacted in this way.

“This scam can be very elaborate, very convincing and very cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, don't be pressured and give yourself time to stop and think.

“If the crime is still in progress, because for example, you have recently provided bank details or handed over cards or cash or are going to visit your bank or the caller has arranged for someone to visit your address to collect items, you should call the police to report this on 101. In an emergency dial 999.”

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