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Scam Warning

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Be Aware of Courier Fraud and Scams — Aylesbury Vale

Thames Valley Police is warning residents to be vigilant following reports of courier frauds, which have involved offenders posing as police officers.

Scams are constantly changing and becoming ever more complex and harder to spot. Fraudsters are very convincing and spin complicated and elaborate stories to commit the fraud.

On Thursday 10 May a local resident in Haddenham received a phone call from a man claiming he was a Detective Sergeant from Luton Police, advising him that two arrests had been made following fraudulent activity on his account, but that the money had been returned.

The man then suggested to the victim he should call his bank so that he could get assurances from them.

Offenders will often use this call-back trick to gain your trust, leading you to believe you have ended one call and redialled a new number. However, the offender merely leaves the line open so unfortunately you are still speaking to the original fraudster.

The victim was then asked to withdraw £5400 from his bank as evidence for the original theft. The alleged DS then said that he would need to check the serial numbers of the notes, as he suspected that they were counterfeit. The offender then arranged to collect the 'fake' cash from the victim's house using a code word.

It is unlikely that this money will ever be recovered.

Two similar recent frauds have also been reported in the Thame area.

There is a Banking Protocol where banks have agreed to notify the police of all suspicious and out of character withdrawals made by individuals, but fraudsters are attempting to avoid this detection by briefing victims with bogus stories. Fraudsters will often have access to genuine, large corporation bank accounts with worldwide links where fraudulent funds are moved and transferred undetected across the world at the press of a button.

Your bank or the police would never ask you to meet them at a location and hand over money or anything valuable.

Your bank or the police will never call you asking 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 have any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the call please disconnect your telephone at the wall, plug the phone back in and call 101.

For more advice about how to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft please visit the Thames Valley Police or Action Fraud websites

Please pass this information on as fraudsters often target older or vulnerable people in our community. Victims often experience a sense of shame and social isolation as a result of the scam.

If you are interested in helping to spread scam prevention knowledge to your friends, family or neighbours why not visit the Friends Against Scams website. This is a National Trading Standards initiative, aiming to protect and prevent people from being victims of scams.