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Police offer advice after £9,000 'courier fraud'

Officers investigating a courier fraud scam which saw two sisters defrauded out of £9,000 have arrested a man in connection with the incident.

The incident happened in Stoneleigh on 6th October, when the women, aged in their 70s and 80s, were contacted by someone claiming to be a Detective Sergeant from the West Midlands Police Fraud Team. The caller asked both victims to attend their banks and withdraw cash to assist with an investigation into counterfeit notes being used in the bank.

Both women attended their respective banks and withdrew a collective sum of £9,000 which they gave to the courier who came to collect the cash.

Following the arrest of a man on 9th October, and enquiries conducted since this time, officers arrested an 18-year-old man at an address in East London on suspicion of fraud by false representation on 28th October. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Detective Sergeant Paul Hainsworth from Warwickshire Police said: “This was a very upsetting incident for the victims who lost a significant amount of money at the hands of fraudsters pretending to be from the police, who continue to prey on individuals, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable.

“The fraudsters’ stories are often believable and they will put a lot of pressure on victims to convince them to withdraw or transfer money, often for fraud reasons.

“These are despicable crimes which can have devastating impacts on victims, and I hope yesterday’s arrest shows that we are determined to catch those responsible and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.”

The police or your bank will never:

  • Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
  • Ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
  • Ask you to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping
  • Ask you to purchase high value items such as gift cards
  • Send someone to your home (perhaps by courier) to collect cash or other high value items, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers

Protect yourself

  • If you are unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and then use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity
  • Don’t give out your personal information to anyone over the phone, including your PIN number and bank account or card details
  • If you have given out your personal banking details to someone over the phone or have given someone your card details, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card

Where to go for help

  • If you receive a call from someone purporting to be a police officer and asking you to withdraw or transfer money, call Warwickshire Police on 101 – the more intelligence we receive, the more likely we are to catch those responsible
  • If you have been a victim of a telephone scam, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
  • For advice on scams, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on0808 223 1133
  • Always call 999 in an emergency

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