Here's how to protect yourself from the alarming new threat of "Courier Fraud"

Fraudsters may contact you claiming to be police officers.
Fraudsters may contact you claiming to be police officers.
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What you need to know to fight back against the increase in "Courier Fraud".

Authorities are urging the public to remain vigilant to new methods used by fraudsters.

An increasing number of innocent people have fallen victim to thieves who have called them, claiming to be a police officer or banking official.

Often, the thief will say:

- That there has been fraudulent activity at the victims’ bank.

- That the staff at the bank are involved in the fraudulent activity.

- That the victim must to withdraw money from their account to either keep it safe, or assist the police with their investigation.

Or they might claim:

- That a business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent.

- That they require the victims’ assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police.

Or say:

- That the victims’ card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect.

- That the victim must withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police.

Once convinced of the lie, the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity.

The bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase - if challenged by bank/jewellers staff, claiming that the staff member is involved in the fraud.

Later, a courier will arrive at the victim’s home address to collect the money or goods the same day.

Often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication

Remember that your bank or the police will never:

- Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.

- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.

- Ask you to transfer money out of your account.

- Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books.