WEST MIDLANDS Police has launched a campaign to help tackle courier fraud across the region.
The campaign – Stay wise, don’t compromise – is aimed at raising awareness of scams and providing practical advice on how to spot and prevent it.
Courier fraud is a type of scam that has been on the rise in recent years, with fraudsters tricking elderly and vulnerable people out of their money.
Police say it usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call to the victim.
The caller will typically pose as a police officer, bank official, or other authority figure, and will claim that the victim’s bank account has been compromised or their assistance is needed in an investigation.
They will then persuade the victim to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ or withdraw large amounts of money and hand it over to a courier who will visit their home. The victim may also be asked to purchase high value items such as a Rolex watch and gold bullion to hand to a courier.
The campaign includes a number of videos and social media posts highlighting the key warning signs and tips on how to stay safe.
- Always be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls, emails, or text messages.
- Never give out personal information, such as your bank details or passwords.
- Remember that your bank and the police will never call and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw cash or purchase high-value goods.
- If you suspect you have been a victim of courier fraud, report it to your bank and the police immediately.
The force has also released videos which show two common fraud scenarios to help educate the public about the manipulative techniques used by fraudsters.
Sgt Matthew Leach from the Proactive Economic Crime Unit said: “Courier fraud can have a profound and long-lasting impact on victims, causing not only financial loss, but also emotional distress and a sense of violation.
“Scammers have taken their deceitful tactics to new heights by requesting victims to make high-value purchases, withdraw cash, or hand over their bank cards for collection by a courier.
“It is crucial to remain vigilant, educate ourselves and elderly family members and friends about these scams, and promptly report any suspicious incidents to the police.”
Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of courier fraud should contact their bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040, or call West Midlands Police on 101.