Police warn of courier fraud

Scotland Yard says fraudsters will phone their victims pretending they are the police. Photo: PA

The Met Police is warning that fraudsters are using phone calls and couriers to trick people out of their bank details and cards.

The fraudsters phone their victim and pretend to be a police officer, a bank worker or the Serious Fraud Office. They tell the victim that their bank account has been compromised and they are sending a courier to pick up their bank card and details.

Sometimes, they tell the victim to phone their head office on a genuine number to check the story is true. However, the fraudsters then don't hang up so the victim is still speaking to them when the phone call is made.

The victim is then asked to type their PIN number into the phone which the fraudsters can then use. When the courier arrives, the victim hands over the bank card which is then used to rob their bank account.

The Met says over 2,000 victims - mostly elderly - have been victims of the scam in London in the last two years. In that time, it has charged 93 people with committing this type of fraud including two brothers who stole almost quarter of a million pounds.

The Met has given this advice to people who may be targeted by fraudsters:

  • Police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card.
  • Never give your PIN or bank card to anyone.
  • If you are contacted by someone who asks for these, hang up.
  • Use a different line to report it to police on 101 or allow at least five minutes for the line to automatically clear. Call 999 if the crime is in action.

Police say the problem is worse in North London with Camden and Barnet particularly affected.

Reports of courier fraud by borough (01 January 2011 and 31 December 2012):

  • 1. Camden = 260 reports of courier fraud
  • 2. Barnet = 194
  • 3. City of Westminster = 179
  • 4. Kensington and Chelsea = 121
  • 5. Wandsworth = 105
  • 6. Islington = 101
  • 7. Redbridge = 98
  • 8. Brent = 93
  • 9. Hammersmith and Fulham = 86
  • 10. Lambeth = 82
  • 11. Ealing = 75
  • 12. Waltham Forest = 65
  • 13. Southwark = 63
  • 14. Harrow = 60
  • 15. Richmond upon Thames = 58
  • 16. Merton = 58
  • 17. Bromley = 54
  • 18. Haringey = 53
  • 19. Lewisham = 51
  • 20. Croydon = 50
  • 21. Greenwich = 48
  • 22. Hounslow = 47
  • 23. Enfield = 39
  • 24. Newham = 34
  • 25. Hackney = 33
  • 26. Tower Hamlets = 32
  • 27. Sutton = 26
  • 28. Hillingdon = 18
  • 29. Kingston = 15
  • 30. Havering = 12
  • 31. Bexley = 10
  • 32. Barking and Dagenham = 9