Courier fraud, is on the rise across the nation. Criminals are targeting the elderly and vulnerable people, tricking them into handing over thousands of pounds.
These highly-organised con artists pretend to be the police or other authority figures, exploiting people’s trust in these institutions.
One man, aged 74, was conned into handing over £2,500 after being told it was a key piece of evidence in an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. In a particularly bad case, a woman in her 80s was tricked out of £975,445.
Scammers often target the same people more than once.
The fraudsters tend be part of organised gangs, and proceeds from the scams are often spent on drugs, human trafficking and other crimes.
Concerned about a 50pc in this type of crime in just a year, the police have launched the first nationally coordinated crackdown on fraud: Operation Radium.
Fraud, which is now Britain’s most common crime, has suffered from the police taking a reactionary approach to investigations and prioritising violent crimes. So despite nearly 2,000 fraud offences being committed daily, just one in 50 results in a prosecution.
If you or someone you know have been an victim of courier fraud, report it to the police online or call 0300 123 2040.