Two arrested for five Essex courier frauds where men posed as bank workers
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We have arrested two men today, Friday 24 January, in connection with five reported courier frauds in Essex where fraudsters reportedly posed as bank workers.
Two 20-year-old men – one from Ilford and the other from East Ham – remain in custody for questioning.
One of the men has been arrested for four further offences that were reported in other counties.
On Thursday 26 December, an 84-year-old from Tillingham received a call from a man claiming to be a bank manager. He told the woman that her bank cards had been compromised and a courier arrived at her address and collected them.
We then received a further report on Saturday 28 December from a woman, 81, from Great Baddow, after she also was duped into handing over her bank cards to a courier and then multiple three-figure sum cash withdrawals were made.
A further incident occurred on Monday 30 December after a fraudster, who also claimed to be a bank worker, called an 81-year-old woman from Galleywood. He insisted that her cards had to be swapped before the victim handed them over to a man and a three figure sum was withdrawn from her account.
Another two incidents have occurred on the Friday 3 January and also on the Thursday 16 January where an 84-year-old woman from Springfield and an 81-year-old man from Little Badoow have been targeted by the fraudsters in the same way.
DC Ross Thompson, of Essex Police’s Volume Fraud Team, said: “We believe fraudsters are preying on the elderly and are tricking them into handing over their PIN numbers and bank cards.
“Fortunately, some victims have contacted their bank to cancel their cards but others have had money taken and all have had the inconvenience of waiting for new bank cards and details. This would have caused unnecessary and unwanted disruption in their lives and have left victims feeling very scared and vulnerable.
“Please remember, your bank will never phone you and ask you to hand in your bank cards or arrange to have your bank cards collected by a courier service. They will never ask you to provide personal details such as your PIN number or any other security details.”
We have issued the following safety advice:
Bank and police officers 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;
If you get called, please hang up and report it to Essex Police or Action Fraud - who made us aware of three of these offences;
If you need to call your bank back to check, wait five minutes. fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up, so 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 and you should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled, you should destroy it yourself.