Five Questions About: The courier scam


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The Independent Online

What's that – a new daily paper?

No, it's a new con that has netted fraudsters more than £1.5m, half of which has been stolen in the first four months of this year.

Uh-oh, so I need to be alert?

You should always be aware of scams so you don't become a victim. Crooks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and ingenious in finding new ways to trick you out of your money.

So how does the courier scam work?

The conmen call up people and pretend to be from their bank or building society. They tend to target older, vulnerable people and tell them that their account has been under attack by fraudsters. As a consequence their credit or debt card needs to be replaced. They're asked to key their PIN into the phone and told to expect a courier to pick up the defrauded card. When the crooked courier arrives he simply collects the card for which he already has the PIN. His next step is to empty the account of as much cash as he can.

Do people actually fall for this trick?

Sadly, yes. The crooks prey on older people as they know they are more likely to trust someone who claims to be from a bank. The simple truth, though, is that your bank will never ask you for your PIN, and you shouldn't ever hand it to anyone.

If I am caught out, will I lose money?

As long as you're not involved in the scam your card provider will refund your losses. However, as the costs of scams rise, so charges will increase.

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