Courier fraud claims 2,229 victims in two years across London

Elderly residents are warned to be aware of ruthless fraudsters who use courier firms to access victims’ life savings.

Courier fraud has claimed 2,229 victims - nine of which were in Barking and Dagenham - in the last two years across London, with 130 people jailed.

The criminals include two brothers who are serving more than 10 years for defrauding more than 200 victims of almost a quarter of a million pounds.

The fraud works by the suspect telephoning the victim and claiming to be from an authority such as the police or bank.

They inform them their bank account has been compromised and their bank card must be collected, as well as getting the victim to type their PIN into their keypad, which the fraudster can track.

A courier arrives at the victim’s house and takes the card which is used to empty the bank account.

As part of Met Police’s Courier Fraud Awareness Day, officers are giving presentations to elderly residents, handing out flyers in busy areas and visiting victims.

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MPS lead on organised crime Steve Rodhouse said: “Courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because for them the pay-off is immense. This is a massive part of what makes them so successful.”

Across all the London boroughs, Barking and Dagenham has had the lowest number of reports of courier fraud since January 2011 but police urged residents to stay vigilant.

Barking and Dagenham borough commander Andy Ewing, said: “These unscrupulous people target the most vulnerable members of our communities and prey on their trusting nature. Please know that my officers will never ask anyone for their bank card or their PIN number.”