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Two Men Arrested Over Attempted Courier Phone-fraud in Godalming

Published on: 24 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 25 Jun, 2020

Two young men have been arrested by police investigating an attempted courier phone-fraud in Godalming.

On Thursday, June 19, an 87-year-old man was phoned by a cold caller claiming to be a police officer from Luton on a fraud investigation.

The victim was told a family member had swapped “legitimate” cash from his bank account with counterfeit notes. He was then told to withdraw the cash and confirm over the phone the serial numbers before a courier would collect the money.

Thankfully, a neighbour intervened and called Surrey police before any money was handed over.

Two 19-year-old men from London were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and fraud by false representation and bailed until July 8, pending further enquiries.

Detective Constable Carina Jewell said: ”I’m pleased the victim did not lose any money and we now have strong lines of enquiry to follow.

“I’m especially keen to hear from anyone who may have received similar phone calls last week, and who may not have reported them to us yet.”

If you have any information which could assist please contact 101, quoting crime reference PR/ 45200062728.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Bernadette Lawrie BEM, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Surrey Police, said: “Courier fraud is a heartless crime perpetrated by criminals who are specifically targeting elderly people across the county. Being a victim of fraud can have a huge and lasting impact on the most vulnerable members of our community. Imagine if you thought you were doing the right thing by helping the police but were in fact being conned in your own home, often by an organised criminal gang.

“Operation Signature is our response to fraud and provides preventative measures to protect identified victims from further targeting.  Vulnerable victims are visited by a uniformed officer and advice and support is provided to stop them falling victim to fraud again.  We also provide call-blockers to those most in need.

“I can’t emphasise enough that we, as the police, and your bank, will never ask for your PIN or full banking password.  We will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer money out of your account, or arrange for anyone to collect bank cards or money from your home address.”

Police have issued crime prevention advice:

• Never send or give money to anyone you don’t know or trust;
• Check people are who they say they are, by calling the organisation to verify, ideally on a different line from the one you have been called on;
• Don’t share your personal information;
• Make decisions in your own time;
• If in doubt phone a relative or a friend; an
• Do not trust anyone who cold calls you about your bank account.
For more crime prevention advice please visit: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-fraud/

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