Victims lose nearly £250,000 to courier fraud across West Mercia in last year - The Redditch Standard

Victims lose nearly £250,000 to courier fraud across West Mercia in last year

Redditch Editorial 8th Jun, 2024   0

PENSIONERS in Worcestershire are being urged to be vigilant after data revealed more than £28.7 million was lost to courier fraud across the UK in the last year.

People in their 80s are most likely to be targeted by criminals carrying out courier fraud, with this age range accounting for 43 per cent of all victims, data from Action Fraud shows.

In West Mercia, there were 35 reports of courier fraud in the last year, totalling £233,659.

Courier fraud occurs when people are contacted by persons purporting to be police officers, or bank officials and duped into handing over money, valuables or bank cards, which are collected from their home address, often by couriers.

The criminals use a variety of different tactics, often claiming that there is a problem with your account and they need your help to catch the real criminals.

The victim may also be encouraged into handing over their bank cards and PINs, as well as high value items such as jewellery, watches and gold (coins or bullion).




Victims can also be coerced into going out and buying items such as gold and jewellery from legitimate retailers on behalf of criminals.

Of reports made, 63 per cent of victims were female and 37 per cent were male, with an average loss per victim of £20,032.


Comparative reporting data for 2022 and 2023 showed that there was a slight decline in total losses this year, of £85,976 (£28,772,067 vs £28,686,091).

Detective sergeant Victoria O’Keefe, from the Lead Force Operations Room at the City of London Police, said:

“This is a particularly nasty crime type often resulting in significant psychological harm and financial loss to victims, many of whom are living alone and suffering age-related illness.

“Many elderly people rely on their landline phone to stay connected to the outside world and for peace of mind, we would recommend protecting loved ones from fraudulent calls by getting a call blocking device fitted.”

If you believe your family member or friend is being targeted by courier fraudsters, report it immediately.

Visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime or call 0300 123 2040 to contact Action Fraud. Alternatively, contact West Mercia Police on 101.

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