Newham police launch Courier Fraud Awareness campaign

Newham police will put up hundreds of posters alerting elderly residents to the dangers of fraudsters posing as courier firms.

Safer Neighbour Teams (SNTs) across the borough are running a Courer Fraud Awareness campaign to combat criminals who target older residents to steal their life-savings.

Newham police had 34 courier fraud crimes reported to them between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2012, and the Met has identified Organised Criminal Groups (OCGs) are behind the fraud but, despite arresting many of these across London, courier fraud is continuing as new OCGs take over and convince victims they are genuine.

The victim often receives a call from someone claiming to be from an authority like the police, bank, or Serious Fraud Office telling them their bank account has been compromised and their card much be collected.

They then instruct the victim to hang up and call the authority on a genuine number but do not disconnect themselves so the victim is in fact still talking to the fraudster.

After convincing the victim to reveal their PIN, the suspect sends a courier or taxi driver to collect the bank card in an envelope.

Newham Borough Commander, Rob Jones, said: “As banking security improves to help protect customers’ personal details and finances, criminals are being forced to find different ways of targeting victims.

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“Courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because for them the pay-off is immense.”