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Fake police officers target South Bucks residents in courier fraud incidents

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A series of courier fraud incidents, involving offenders posing as fake police officers, has prompted Thames Valley Police to issue a warning to local residents.

Residents in the Chiltern, Beaconsfield and South Bucks areas have been targeted in the scam with 18 offences taking place since the Sunday 1st January 2017.

Imposters have been calling on residents pretending to be from the police and claiming there has been a fraudulent transaction made from their bank card or account. The fraudster then asks the resident for their help to catch the offender and is then told that their bank may be involved and asked to withdraw cash to establish whether their bank are circulating counterfeit notes.

When the cash has been withdrawn by the resident the scammer then asks them to read out the serial numbers on the notes which they confirm to be counterfeit. They then arrange to send a courier to collect the ‘counterfeit’ cash.

Detective Sergeant Daniel McKenzie based at local CID at Taplow Police Base said: ‘This type of crime can see the victim scammed out of a substantial amount of money.

There are many other variations on this including being told there is an issue with your bank card or bank account and getting you to reveal personal information, including your PIN number. Once they have your information, a courier will be sent to collect the card, which they can then use to withdraw money from your account.

Scammers frequently emphasise the need for discretion and tell the resident they cannot speak to friends or family due to it being part of an ongoing investigation and tell them they cannot speak to the bank as they are not trustworthy and are being investigated. This is designed to isolate the resident.

To ensure you don’t fall prey to this type of scam, remember that in no circumstances would your bank or the police ask you to take such actions. These types of request will only come from a fraudster.

Please take note and share our advice to stop more people falling victim to this crime.

The following advice has been issued by Thames Valley Police to help residents protect themselves :

  • Never tell anyone your PIN number.
  • Never give personal information or bank account details to anyone over the phone.
  • Never hand over your card, money or valuable to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
  • Police or banks will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money to help them.
  • If someone comes to your door claiming to be a police officer, always ask to see their identification. Close the door and call 101 to check they are genuine, a real police officer will not mind waiting whilst you check.

Further information on how to keep your personal details and identity safe can be found on the Thames Valley Police or Action Fraud websites.

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