Londoners warned to be on their guard after mass courier fraud scam across the capital


Wandsworth and Merton were affected by the scheme.


 By David Eggboro

Scammers have duped 163 victims in Wandsworth and Merton over two years in a ‘courier fraud’ totalling £2.4 million across London.

The figures released by the Metropolitan Police report 2,229 victims across the capital from January 2011 – December 2012.

Courier fraud impacted every borough in London and claimed mostly elderly people. The average victim was 70.4 years old, the youngest, 17, and the oldest, 110.

Cllr Jonathan Crook, Cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “Never enter your PIN into a telephone, share it with anyone or give your bank card to anybody.”

Of the 130 suspects arrested, 93 fraudsters were charged by London police in the period.

Brothers Mohammed Dulu Miah, 26, and Shilu Miah, 31 were jailed for four and six years respectively for fleecing over 200 victims of almost £250,000.

The fraud involves telephoning people and posing as a representative of services including the bank, police or Serious Fraud Office.

They convince the victim their bank account has been compromised and their card must be collected by a courier.

The con-artist instructs the victim to hang up and call the bank /police /Serious Fraud Office on a different number to ensure they are genuine.

The victim dials the new number but the fraudster doesn’t disconnect so, unknown to the victim, they are still speaking to the conman.

The caller then instructs the victim to key in their PIN number to the dial-pad to ‘activate’ the new card.

The number is recorded and a reputable courier is sent to collect the ‘old’ card, resulting in the scammers having both the card and the PIN of the victim.

The MPS lead on organised crime, Commander Steve Rodhouse, said: “Courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because for them the pay-off is immense.”

Police are urging cab and courier firms to be alert to anyone who may be using them to carry out this fraud.

If you receive a call asking for your PIN or card, hang up and use a different line to report it to police on 101.

Photo courtesy of By 401(K) 2013, with thanks.

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