Scotland Yard reported this week that one crook who posed as a courier from a bank managed to trick unsuspecting Londoners into handing him £244,500 of their cash.
He used the so-called Courier Scam, which has been used to steal millions of pounds from innocent Brits in the last couple of years. Londoners alone lost £2,408,800 last year.
Meanwhile Financial Fraud Action UK reported that the scam caused £7.5m worth of fraud in the first six months of 2012, with 1,600 people caught out, losing an average £4,200.
How does it work? Crooks call you pretending to be from your bank. They say your credit or debit card needs collecting and replacing after fraud on your account.
To trick you into believing they’re genuine, they tell you to hang up and call your bank for confirmation. But the caller simply stays on the line so you’re not actually on a new call. The caller then asks for your PIN and arranges for a courier to come and collect the card.
If you hand your card to the “courier” the crooks, armed with your PIN, can go on a spending spree.
But a bank will never ever ask for your PIN and will never ever ask to come to your home or work to pick up a plastic card.
The fraudsters tend to target older people who they presume are more vulnerable. So police ask you to pass on the warning to older friends and relatives.