Urgent message from West Midlands Police – beware of courier fraud and other phone scams

Many of the current scams operating are very convincing indeed – warn your relatives about courier fraud and to to give away information, no matter how authoritative the caller sounds. Image from iStockphoto

I’ve become aware over the last few days that phone scammers are targeting the local area once more –  and are employing a number of methods, including courier fraud and impersonating tax officials – please warn your elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

West Midlands Police wrote:

Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert
What you need to know

Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official

The suspect will say either: There has been fraudulent activity at the victims’ bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation.

A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victims’ assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police.

The victims’ card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police

Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud.

A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day Often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication

​​​​​​​Your bank or the police will never:

  • Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.
  • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account.
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards or cheque books.

For more information about how to protect yourself online visit

www.cyberaware.gov.uk  and www.takefive.stopfraud.org.uk

 tell your relatives and neighbours about these scams, and impress upon them how important it is not to give away dpersonal details on the phone to cold callers. If in doubt, get details, call companies back and have someone else check them out before making any kind of payment for anything.

Explain that no official body will turn up at your door or call you demanding money – least of all the police.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to the operation of this con or if you or someone you know as been targeted, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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