Police are reminding people to be vigilant against courier fraud scams following an incident in Luton this week.
Officers are also asking for anyone with information about such scams to contact them after a victim was conned out of more than £7,000 on Wednesday.
The victim had received a scam call from an offender claiming to be from Hammersmith police station and investigating a fraud against their account.
The conman instructed the victim to withdraw a large sum of cash and pass it to a member of the ‘fraud squad’. At around 5.20pm an offender, described as male, in his 20s and of Oriental appearance, who spoke English but with a foreign accent, collected the money from Emerald Road.
When asked where his vehicle was, the offender, who was around 5’2” and wearing a hooded top and dark-coloured bottoms, pointed towards a white taxi-style car.
PC Allan Taylor, investigating, said: “This incident has been devastating for the victim who, after handing over the money in trust, became suspicious and discovered a scam had taken place.
“This con has not only cruelly taken thousands of pounds from the vulnerable victim but has also left them distressed and fearful of the suspects returning.
“I would appeal for anyone who recognises the man or vehicle described, or who knows anything about people operating scams in the Bedfordshire area, to contact me immediately.
“Our investigations into this type of scam are ongoing in the county. Criminals are warned that this heartless activity leaves a footprint and we will do all in our power to track those responsible.”
Call PC Taylor using the non-emergency number 101 with information.
‘Hang up’ on telephone scammers – your bank or the police will never:
• Telephone you to ask for your four digit card PIN or your online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad
• Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
• Ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons, even if they say it is in your name
• Send someone to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book if you are a victim of fraud
• Ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe-keeping
Remember, if you suspect a scam is taking place or you feel vulnerable, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different telephone line, to call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.
Call police on 101 to report a crime or suspicious activity. If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.