A warning has been issued over so-called ‘gold courier fraud’.
In the last three months, Action Fraud has received 13 reports relating to gold courier fraud, with losses totalling over £4,000.
What is it?
Gold courier fraud is when a victim receives a phone call from a fraudster claiming to be from the police or the bank. They then persuade the victim to hand over cash, bank cards or other high value items to a courier who will be sent to their house.
They will usually use a cover story such as that they are from the bank investigating allegations of theft from customers, that they are looking into some fraudulent activity on the victims own account, or that they are part of a police investigation looking into a fraudulent business such as jewellers and need help securing evidence. All of which are not true.
A popular tactic is for the criminals to instruct the victim to purchase high value items such as gold coins or withdraw large amounts of cash from their bank account.
They might also suggest to the victim that they hang up and redial the number of their bank or police force to reassure you that they’re genuine. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you’re still speaking to the same fraudster.
What to look out for Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity but is asking you for personal information or even your PIN to verify who you are.
They’re offering you to call back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call there’s no dial tone.
They try to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.
How to protect yourself
Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier. Hang up if you get a call like this.
If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.
Your debit or credit card is yours – don’t let a stranger take it off you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled, you should destroy it yourself.
If you think you or someone you know has been affected, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk