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Action Fraud warns of new courier fraud tactic after receiving 120 reports in 24 hours

New alert from Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) about courier fraud.

In the past 24 hours, Action Fraud has received 120 reports of courier fraud. Victims have reported a particular tactic of being called by someone impersonating a police officer. The suspect uses the name Eric Shaw and gives over his badge number, in order to appear trustworthy to victims.

The suspect asks victims to move money to a “secure bank account” until the victims are sent a new national insurance number. In reality, their money is being transferred into an account under the criminal’s control.

What is courier fraud?

Courier fraud is when victims receive a phone call from a criminal, pretending to be a police officer or bank official. Typically, victims are told to withdraw a sum of money and someone is sent to their home address to collect it. Criminals may also convince the victim to transfer money to a ‘secure’ bank account, hand over their bank cards, or high value items, such as jewellery, watches and gold (coins or bullion).

How to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone, or offer to pick up your bank card by courier. Hang up immediately if you receive a call like this.
  • If you need to contact your bank back to check the call was legitimate, wait five minutes; fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to contact your bank.
  • Your debit or credit card is yours: don’t let a stranger take it from you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled or expired, you should destroy it yourself.

Spot the tell-tale signs:

  • Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity, but is asking you for personal information, or even your PIN, to verify who you are.
  • They’re offering to call you back so you can be sure they’re genuine, but when you try to return the call, there’s no dial tone.
  • They say they’re trying to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you, to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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