Police warning about courier fraudsters as victims in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight scammed out of more than £780,000 last year

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
POLICE have issued a warning to be on your guard for courier fraudsters as victims in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were scammed out of more than £780,000 last year.

Typically, courier fraudsters target their victims by claiming to be a police officer or a member of staff from a victim’s bank and they often pressure people into making quick financial decisions to assist with fictitious investigations.

In 2021 alone, 110 people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were victims of courier fraud, with losses totalling £786,963.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And across the whole of the UK, 3,625 people were victims of courier fraud, with people losing more than £15.2million through scams.

Police have issued a warning about courier fraudstersPolice have issued a warning about courier fraudsters
Police have issued a warning about courier fraudsters

Now Hampshire Constabulary is supporting a new campaign launched by the City of London Police to help tackle courier fraud.

Detective Inspector Mark Carter, from Hampshire’s serious and organised crime unit, said: ‘These fraudsters are heartless individuals who prey on some of the most vulnerable people living in our area.

Read More
Hampshire police to work with shops, youth groups and charities to tackle 'devas...

‘We know that victims of courier fraud are typically aged between 70 and 89, with women more likely to be targeted than men.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘I would like to urge everyone who has an elderly relative, friend or cares for someone in that age bracket to make them aware of this type of fraud.

‘We want people to know the tactics used by fraudsters and to be aware of the warning signs to look out for.

‘These incidents can often have a huge impact on victims as they come to terms with the fact they have fallen for a scam, and the financial losses that come with it.

‘We want to ensure that people do not become repeat victims, so we want to educate them and their loved ones to ensure that fraudsters can no longer take advantage of Hampshire and Isle of Wight residents.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Our officers are determined to bring an end to offences of this nature and will take appropriate steps to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible.’

Signs of courier fraud

• Courier fraud usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call to the victim.

• Typically, the suspect will pose as a bank official, police officer or a computer or utility engineer.

• Courier fraudsters will usually request victims to purchase high-value items such as a Rolex watch and gold bullion, withdraw cash or provide a bank card for collection from a courier.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

• Fraudsters will instruct victims not tell any family or friends about what they are doing.

• When carrying out courier fraud, criminals will request that the victim hangs up the phone to ring their bank for confirmation while keeping the line open. The suspect then purports to be bank official and provides false confirmation.

• Fraudsters will also make arrangements for a courier to meet the victim to collect the item they have purchased.

Anyone who receives an unexpected call from someone claiming to be one of these officials should verify they are speaking to someone genuine: hang up, wait five minutes and call back on a number they know is genuine.