Cheshire Constabulary to partner with fellow law enforcement agencies to tackle fraud across the region
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Cheshire Constabulary is collaborating with local forces and the North West Regional Crime Unit to target the courier fraud scams across plaguing the region.
The campaign is a joint effort alongside the Greater Manchester, North Wales and Surrey police and the Northwest Regional Crime Unit, to combat a growing surge in courier fraud cases that have victimized unsuspecting individuals across the country.
Courier fraud is a highly sophisticated scam that preys on victims' trust and vulnerability, with perpetrators often posing as bank officials, police officers, or other authority figures and employ tactics to deceive victims into believing they are assisting in official investigations or protecting their financial assets.
One Cheshire victim was recently contacted by an individual falsely claiming to represent the Ministry of Justice and was coerced into sending £310 for alleged paperwork in June 2023. Subsequently, the victim was instructed to send an additional £580 for VAT, with the promise of receiving a £13,000 cheque that never materialized.
This victim, initially unaware of the fraud, only became aware of the deception after being contacted by law enforcement.
Another victim was manipulated into sending £3,120 to an address in Macclesfield, believing they were participating in a payment scheme. They later discovered that the address in question served as a central hub that had been receiving cash from several other victims across the country, with the fraudsters acting as couriers collecting the cash.
A third victim, located in Surrey, also reported a series of calls dating back to June 2022 where the fraudster posed as an Inland Revenue representative and deceived them into sending £600 to an address in Macclesfield. in order to secure a promised income tax refund.
This victim's suspicions were aroused when asked for additional funds, leading to the realization that they had fallen victim to a fraudulent scheme.
Cheshire Police, alongside their collaborative partners, remain committed to combatting these fraudulent activities and ensuring that justice is served and, where possible, any seized funds are returned to victims.
The force is also urging residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious phone calls or requests for money to their local authorities immediately.
Police Constable Jim Day from the forces Economic Crime Unit said:
“We need people to remain vigilant and I would strongly urge anyone receiving calls asking for money to be withdrawn to immediately phone the police on 101 or report the incident to Action Fraud.
“Official organisations such as police do not cold call, so if you receive a phone call purporting to an officer, don’t be swayed. They are not genuine.
"By staying informed and vigilant, we can collectively thwart attempts by criminals to exploit innocent individuals. If you have any concerns or require additional information, please contact your local law enforcement agency or a trusted community resource."
There are a number of steps you can take to avoid courier fraud and other similar scams, including:
Your bank or the police will never ask you to verify your personal details or PIN over the phone.
Your bank or the police will never send a courier to collect cash, bank cards, PINs, or valuables from your home.
Be cautious if someone contacts you out of the blue and asks you to withdraw money from your bank account.
Scammers often use pressure tactics to manipulate victims, stay calm and take your time to assess the situation before making any decisions.
If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately, report the incident to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.