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Gloucestershire Business News

Arrests made as part of courier fraud investigation

Two people were arrested last week as part of an investigation into courier fraud incidents in Gloucestershire.

The arrests were made after officers identified a Gloucester man who was involved in courier fraud scams against local residents.

Numerous elderly residents have been targeted over recent weeks by fraudsters claiming to be police officers from Bearlands Police Station, telling victims that their bank cards had been used fraudulently at local supermarkets.

An 18 year-old man and 18-year-old woman, who were believed to be working together, were arrested on suspicion of fraud offences on Thursday evening (September 2). They have since been released under investigation for further enquiries to take place.

Courier Fraud usually sees fraudsters, posing as police officers, call victims and ask them to help a "covert operation" by withdrawing cash, purchasing foreign currency, jewellery, or other items, which the fraudsters say is needed for their "investigation".

The fraudsters will tell the victim that their involvement must be kept secret. A fake "police courier" is then sent to the victims home to collect the items and the fraudsters tell the victim that the funds will be credited back into their bank account, but this does not happen.

Victims are often asked to return to the bank and withdraw more cash, with the scam going on for days at a time.

Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of courier fraud can report this to police by submitting information online, calling 101 or speaking to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Advice to help stop yourself from becoming a victim of courier fraud is below:

• Neither police nor bank officials will ever ask you to withdraw money from your account, purchase anything or hand over your personal details or passwords.

• If you believe you are being targeted by a scammer hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police, as scammers have a way to stay on the line and will pretend to be the police when you call back.

• If you don't have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.

• Just because someone knows basic details about you like your address or date of birth, it doesn't mean they are genuine bank or police employees.

• Always question suspicious phone calls and report them to Action Fraud or the police.

If you think you or someone you know has been defrauded, you can report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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