Cambridgeshire residents are being warned about courier fraud scams after victims lost a total of £8,000 in two recent cases. Cambridgeshire Police officers in St Neots and Sawtry were alerted to two incidents where fraudsters posed as police and bailiffs to persuade their victims to hand over large amounts of cash.
In one instance, the suspects called an elderly woman on her landline and claimed to be from the police. They said her bank account had been compromised so she needed to withdraw all her money and hand it over to them for safekeeping.
This initial phone call was then followed by a call to the victim’s mobile phone, as she made her way from her home to the bank, to ensure she didn’t talk to anyone about what she was doing. Arrangements were then made for the suspects to meet the victim in person and take the cash.
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Cyber and fraud prevention officer David York said: “These crimes often have a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of the victims and their families. We urge residents to please be vigilant to this and pass the message on so others can be vigilant too.”
In another case, an elderly woman was contacted by an unknown number via text message, by someone claiming to be a family member whose phone had broken so they were borrowing a friend’s. The victim was told to call another number, which connected to the suspects, who said they were bailiffs.
They said the family member owed them money, but as their phone had broken the victim needed to pay on their behalf. In the meantime, text messages continued between the victim and the phony family member who continued to apologise for the situation.
Please remember your bank and the police will never:
- Ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone
- Ask you to withdraw money and hand it over to them
- Ask you to send them your bank cards or any other personal property
- If you receive a message from an unknown number claiming to be a family member, pause and check in on their usual number before proceeding.
Further information about courier fraud can be found on the police website.
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