Coronavirus Scam Warning

Subject: FW: Warning Following Courier Fraud Offence In Wellingborough 01/05/2020 08:54:57 [320647Warning Following Courier Fraud Offence In Wellingborough
Detectives in Northamptonshire are issuing a warning to the public following an incident of courier fraud in Wellingborough on Monday, April 27.

At about 10am, fraudsters pretending to be police officers called a woman in her 80s and told her they needed her to withdraw £2000 to enable them to investigate alleged corruption within her bank.  When she asked what she should tell her bank if they enquired as to why she was withdrawing such a large amount, the scammers suggested she tell them that her children needed the money due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The offenders arrived at her house and took the money, promising to reimburse her once their ‘investigation’ had completed. They never did and never attempted to contact her again.

Detective Inspector Dave Harley, said: “Courier fraud often targets the elderly who are left feeling vulnerable and unsafe in their own homes as a result of becoming a victim of this type of crime.  “The lady yesterday lost over £2000 to a sophisticated scam which left her feeling panicked and rushed into actions she later regretted.  “The criminals carrying out these scams are very devious and know how to manipulate their victims.  “Please speak to your elderly relatives about this kind of scam and remind them that a police officer or bank staff member will never ask for your PIN or personal details or request you hand over cash.  “A genuine member of either organisation will also have no issue with a person putting the phone down and ringing 101 or the bank to establish their true identity.”

Tips to avoid becoming a courier fraud victim:

– Remember that neither a bank or the police will ever ask for your PIN or arrange collection of your bank card

– Your bank and the police will never ask you to make high value purchases or withdraw cash to send for examination

– Your bank, the police and any genuine organisation will never contact you and ask for your online banking log in details, including a one-time password, or to move money to another account

– If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately and contact the police and your bank via a different phone line, using a number you have verified. If you do not have another phone line you can use, hang up and wait five minutes until the line has fully cleared

Police Scam Warning
As the UK’s response to the Covid-19 virus continues, Northamptonshire Police is reminding members of the public to be on their guard from those seeking to exploit the situation.

The advice follows an incident in Kettering last week, where a cold-caller knocked at the door of an elderly couple, offering Coronavirus home-testing kits in exchange for their debit card details.  Fortunately on this occasion no personal details were provided. However, Chief Inspector Peter Basham, who is leading the Force’s community response to the Covid-19 crisis, is asking people to look out for each other at this difficult time.

He said: “It is very sad that at a time when we should all be pulling together as a community, there are still those who are seeking to exploit the situation and attempt to scam the most vulnerable members of our society.  I would like to stress that the Force, nor any other agency, is offering Coronavirus home-testing. If these were available, legitimate businesses would not be selling them door-to-door.”

“Under no circumstances should you ever give out your personal or bank details to anyone, and if you’re approached by someone offering services or selling goods on your doorstep, please report it to the police.  We are also asking anyone who has contact with either an elderly or vulnerable person to please pass on this gentle crime prevention reminder to help prevent them from becoming a victim of doorstep crime.”

“Such crimes can often have a much more devastating effect on their victims than just the loss of money, making a person, especially the elderly, feel exceptionally vulnerable and unsafe in their own homes.  Being a good neighbour is still important, and communities are rallying around to support each other. However, there may be those who seek to exploit the situation also.”

“So the message we want people to make their elderly relatives aware of is simple – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

Message Sent By
James Herbert (Police, Police Community Support Officer, Daventry & South Northants)