A 91 year old woman from Weoley Castle is one of the latest victims of a bank card courier scam where bogus police officers phone victims asking for their bank cards as evidence.
Many residents have now become aware of the scam as West Midlands Police have released a number of warnings.
However, yesterday police received around 15 calls, mainly from Northfield and Solihull homes, where fraudsters had attempted to con people out of their bank cards.
Most were aware of the scam and hung up the phone and called the police. However, two elderly women fell victim to the elaborate hoax.
An 82 year old woman from Solihull handed over her pin number and her card to a courier as “evidence” after receiving a call from a bogus police officer. Theives took almost £1250 from her account in cash and purchases.
And later a tearful Weoley woman aged 91 called police to say she had handed her card and her latest £100 cash withdrawal to a courier on Wednesday 12th February having been convinced that they were needed as evidence. A further £294 was taken from her account before the card was cancelled.
Chief Inspector Adrian Atherley, said: “It seems most people are getting the message, switching on to the scam and refusing to fall for the fraudsters’ patter.
“As a result of the campaign people are reporting calls they received several days ago but dismissed as a scam. It’s important people contact police if they’ve been targeted so we can build up an accurate picture on the scale of the fraud, the tactics being used and potentially gather crucial information on offenders.
“The callers’ tactics vary: some claim to be from regional police stations, some from London, some say they’ve arrested people and recovered cloned bank cards, whilst others suggest money has been taken from accounts.
“Police officers or genuine bank officials would never ask you to divulge PIN numbers over the phone or send couriers round to collect cards. If you receive a call requesting this then hang up and contact police.”
West Midlands Police have already received around 50 calls this year from residents, aged 59 to 93, reporting they’ve been targeted by the “Courier Con” with victims having collectively lost around £10,000.
Many people are falling for the scam because they believe the bogus PC’s story has been verified by a follow-up call to their bank – but because the scammers don’t hang up the victim is unwittingly still speaking to them and not a bank official.
Chief Insp Atherley, added: “By not hanging up they are effectively jamming the line…the scammers play a dial tone down the line and pass the phone to an associate to make the victim think they’re talking with someone else.
“These con artists are cold, calculated thieves. Their tactic is to scare and confuse elderly people into handing over sensitive information…and they are convincing. If you’ve got elderly relatives, friends or neighbours please make sure they are aware of this scam.”
Protect yourself against courier fraud:
• Your bank or police will never send a courier to your home to collect bank cards
• Your bank or police will never ask for your PIN number
• If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.
If you’ve been a victim call your bank and cancel your cards immediately – try to call from a different phone if reporting it immediately after being contacted by someone you believe was a scammer – and report it to West Midlands Police on 101.