Warning over courier fraud after pensioner targeted

Police have issued a warning to residents after a pensioner was targeted by fraudsters.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:59 am

Earlier this month, an elderly victim in Holbeach was targeted by fraudsters who convinced her that her bank account had been compromised. The victim, who is an elderly woman in her 80s, was told she needed to withdraw a sum of money and post it to an address in London.

Although she didn’t realise until it was too late that she had fallen for the scam, all hope was not lost as officers made swift contact with Royal Mail to prevent the money from being delivered.

Following enquiries from the investigation, Lincolnshire Police officers were able to recover and return the full amount that was nearly lost to the criminals to the victim. Enquiries on the incident are still ongoing and safeguarding measures are now in place to help protect the victim.

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South Holland Inspector Nick Waters said: “I am pleased we were able to return this large sum of money to the victim and that’s thanks to the attending officer’s hard work and prompt co-ordination with Royal Mail. Safeguarding and support has now been put in place to prevent any further targeting of the victim”.

Courier fraud is when criminals cold call victims impersonating banks or a police officer, convincing them to hand over their cash, bank cards or any other high-value items to a courier that’s been sent to their home. In most cases, the criminals will claim that they are conducting an investigation, often saying it involves counterfeit money

Another tactic being used by criminals is to instruct the unsuspecting victim to purchase high-value items such as jewellery or gold. A Lincolnshire police spokesman said: “If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately. It’s a scam!”

Remember, your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to withdraw money for them to send it to another location. They will also never ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your bank card by courier.

If you receive an unexpected call, hang up and use another phone to call back to confirm their identity. If you’re ever in doubt, contact them directly on a different line or report the incident to police by calling 101.