This additional message is dated Friday 2nd July 2021 - Ascot

Alert message sent 02/07/2021 15:31:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


YET ANOTHER COURIER FRAUD !!

The victim received a call from a withheld number, from a man calling himself 'DC Haines', from Hammersmith Police Fraud Department.

He explained that they had been a victim of fraud and that they had someone in custody, who had admitted to stealing a large amount of money from them using their debit card.

He also explained that their bank was also under investigation and was possibly involved in giving out counterfeit money.  It would all be part of their evidence gathering, for the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service)

The victims were instructed to go to their bank and withdraw £4,900 in cash.  While doing this, they were to remain on their mobile phone, so that ‘DC Haines' could listen into the conversation with the bank.

He also instructed that they were not to mention why they were withdrawing the money.

When they got home, they were asked to read out the serial numbers from several notes.  They were then told to put the notes into a paper envelope and then put it into a plastic bag – this would preserve the fingerprints on the notes, so that the criminals at the bank, could be identified.  He would now send a courier to collect the notes.  He gave the victim a code number, which would identify the courier as genuine.

Shortly afterwards, the courier arrived and quoted a ‘CPS reference number’.  He collected the package of cash and left.

Afterwards, the victim began to think about what had happened and called their son.  He immediately said it was all a scam and the police were called.

The victim has never been scammed before and is shaken.  Their son has installed a call blocker phone to prevent them ever calling back.

Enquiries are being made at the bank to trace and try and recover the cash

AS YOU KNOW WE HAVE BEEN PUBLICISING ‘COURIER FRAUDS’ FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS NOW.  I AM SURPRISED WE RE STILL REPORTING VICTIMS.

WE HAVE ONE ADVANTAGE – THIS SCAM HAS BEEN FRANCHISED ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND THE SCAMMERS ALL USE THE SAME SCRIPT.  IN THIS AREA – IT IS ALWAYS A CALL FROM A ‘DETECTIVE INSPECTOR’ FROM THE ‘HAMMERSMITH POLICE FRAUD DEPARTMENT’.  The script is always the same – so it is easy to recognise – they always mention:
  • They have someone in custody who has stolen money from the victim’s bank account, using either their debit card, or a cloned debit card
  • Could the victim please get their debit card, to see if it has been stolen.
  • This is critical to the scam, as the victim is then asked to phone their  security number on the back of the card – to show the call is genuine.
  • The victim is asked to put the receiver down and then dial the security number, on the back of the card.
  • The scammer, does not disconnect the call and when the victim re-dials, the scammer simply hands the phone to an accomplice, who says they are ‘Bank Security’
  • To discuss any possible fraud on the account – the victim has to go through and hand over, all their account and personal information, including passwords and PIN numbers.
  • The conversation then changes to discuss fraud at their bank – passing counterfeit currency.
  • The victim is often asked to confirm how much money they have in the account.
  • They are asked to go to the bank and withdraw it all.  The scammer knows the bank will probably invoke the ‘Banking Protocol’ for an ‘unusual withdrawal’, so they prime the victim with answers to get through the process.
  • During the withdrawal at the bank, they ask the victim to keep their mobile phone on, so that they can listen to the conversation.  In the past – we have been lucky, when the battery dies on their phone and the bank work out what is happening and prevent the withdrawal.
  • The victim is instructed to ask for the notes to be placed in a paper envelope – to prevent the fingerprints on the notes, from being wiped or damaged.  They are told to touch them as little as possible and usually, when they do – to use gloves
  • Usually they are asked to read out the numbers on a few token notes and a courier is organised, to arrive shortly.
  • The courier has been given a code word, to convince the victim, that it is all genuine.
  • The money is collected
This is not generally, the end of the scam !

If all goes well.  The scammer phones back a few days / weeks later.  Apparently the men in custody, knew about other accounts held by the victim – and therefore those accounts are at risk and vulnerable.  Could the victim please transfer all the balances to a secure police account, which would protect the money.

The scammer then details various bank account numbers and sort codes.  The victim is then told to transfer the money immediately to protect it.

We have had cases where after that has been done, the scammer phones back – yet again – and asks if the victim has a credit card.  If the answer is yes – they are persuaded to go to a local currency shop and withdraw Euros, to the limit of their card.  Once they have done that – a courier is sent to collect the Euros.

As you can see this scam is very detailed and can go on for up to six weeks !  At the end, the victim has absolutely nothing left – and they move on to the next victim.

There is never just one of these scams on the go at any one time.  The scammers will be scamming dozens of people all at the same time.  This is a very professional organisation and they are really good and convincing at what they do.

Please do not think that all the victims are totally gullible – they are not.  Most are completely compos mentis – which shows how good and convincing the scammers are.

PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW – WE ARE STILL NOT GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH TO POTENTIAL VICTIMS.

NEXT:  There is a second Action Fraud reported to the police today, but there is little detail as the victim has not yet been visited.

This is a ‘Pension Liberation’ scam – The potential victim asked their pension provider to transfer their pension to another company so that they could withdraw some of the capital value.  The original pension provider, before transferring the capital value, fortunately carried out various checks on the new pension provider, which highlighted a number of red flags - which indicated that this was going to be a potential scam - in this case a ‘Pension Liberation Scam’.
The original pension provider, made contact with the potential victim and outlined their findings and concerns. The transfers were immediately cancelled and the matter reported to Action Fraud.

We have also received intelligence which links the above transferee company, to well-known pension scams.

IF SOMETHING SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE AND IS A SCAM !!!

Jeff

 
Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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