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Appeal after third courier fraud victim identified

Friday, October 8, 2021

Yesterday we told you about an increase in courier fraud in Lancashire and following our previous warning more victims have come forward.

Thankfully most haven’t been successful but unfortunately one victim, a woman in her 80s from Blackburn, reported being scammed by a fraudster into handing over £13,000.

It happened yesterday (October 7) when a man, again pretending to be a police officer from Lancashire Police using the name PC Alex Hunter collar number 4144 called the victim on her mobile phone.

The offender said he needed the victim to withdraw cash from her bank as part of a fraud investigation into money laundering. The victim went to the bank and made two withdrawals before taking the cash home.

She then left the cash outside in a plastic bag to be collected, as instructed by the caller. A man, posing as a courier, arrived to collect the money from the address in the Bank Top area of Blackburn for two separate pickups, one around 12noon and another around 3.30pm. He is described as an Asian man wearing grey coloured traditional clothing and a blue woollen hat.

Officers from the economic crime unit have launched an investigation and we are now appealing for anyone who saw a man in the area yesterday afternoon or witnessed anything that they think could help with our enquiries to get in touch.

This is the third case in a week where elderly and vulnerable victims in Lancashire have had money stolen from them in this way.

We want to remind you that police officers will never ask you for money.

DI Mark Riley of Lancashire Police said: “These fraudsters are very convincing and will say all the right things to gain your trust, but they are not real police officers. A police officer or detective will never cold call you at home or on your mobile to ask you to collect money from a bank or for any of your personal financial details.

“We would also never ask you to keep an investigation a secret from your family members or friends. This is the first major warning sign for people to look out for. If you are asked not to tell anyone about a phone call, let that be a signal to you that you need to end that call and get in touch with someone you trust to get their advice.

“The older generation are very trusting and they have the desire to help. But please have the confidence to ask for help and terminate any phone call where you are being asked for money. Leave the phone line clear for several minutes so that when you make another call the fraudster isn’t still on the line.

“These unscrupulous scammers target elderly and vulnerable people so please make your loved ones aware. If you do receive a call, immediately report the matter to the police as soon as possible.

“The impact these types of crimes have on victims is significant and sometimes victims don’t want to share what has happened due to embarrassment so we would encourage

Anyone with information on the above case can contact 101 quoting 0278 of today’s date (October 8).

For help and advice about how you can stay safe from scammers visit Action Fraud via https://www.fscs.org.uk/news/related/?topic=Action+Fraud&page=1 or call 0300 123 2040


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