Sadly, courier scams are real. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported an increase of 17.8% for the year ending March 2019. This equates to an estimated 3.8 million incidents where people have been potentially subject to fraud.
Customers must be able to protect themselves should this happen to you in the future. But, what are the signs and how can you fight back? We’ll outline the essentials underneath. All you need to do is continue reading – it’s in the interest of your bank account and credit history.
What Is Courier Fraud?
It’s the process of trying to convince you to part with money or valuables. To do this, someone will call pretending to be a police officer or bank official. After outlining the situation with general details – name and address – they generally mention something about money being taken from your account. To try and gain your trust, they’ll give you a number to call to substantiate the claim.
How Do They Take Your Money?
By keeping the line open at the other end. When you phone or they patch you through, an associate will pretend to be from your bank and ask for your PIN or card details. If they can’t get the details they need, they will send a courier to your home to pick up your card and ‘return’ it later.
Also, they might ask you to take part in an investigation into fraudulent employees at a bank, post office or bureau de change. As part of the team, you’ll withdraw cash that they’ll ‘mark’ and put into circulation to catch the criminals.
More Examples Of Courier Scams
A common one centres on ordering mobile phones because the fraudsters can easily obtain the info they need to place an order. A package will turn up containing valuables in the hundreds of pounds range, goods that you never bought. Once the legitimate courier has left, a fake courier will knock on the door, admit the mistake, and take the products off your hands. Unfortunately, handing over the parcel could see you paying for your honesty.
Another version includes staking out your home and intercepting the courier before the package reaches your home.
The most courier scams involving a scammer contacting you involves informing you that your bank account has been compromised. For safety reasons, they ask you to transfer the money to a ‘safe account’ and take all the money once it’s been moved.
How To Protect Yourself
Look for the telltale signs. For example, your bank will never call you and ask for your PIN. If they do, put the phone down and report the call.
Alternatively, you can contact your bank for information. However, don’t let them transfer you through, and don’t use the number they provide. Wait five minutes or use a different line and use verified contact info. You can find it online.
Finally, never give your card away willingly. No one can force you to hand it over whether it’s part of an investigation or other police tactics.