Essex Police make arrests in suspected courier fraud cases

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 October 2020

Essex Police logo

Essex Police logo

Essex Police

Essex Police officers have arrested 10 people in suspected courier fraud cases.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss. Picture: Essex PoliceDetective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss. Picture: Essex Police

The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) said that Operation Radium, which was launched in January this year, has resulted in 100 courier fraud arrests.

Courier fraud is when people target elderly and vulnerable people, pretend to represent the bank or police, and trick people into handing over cash or sometimes life savings. They send a courier to the door to collect a debit card.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, who heads the Essex Police Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: “We’ve been proactive in quickly identifying suspects, who tend to travel into Essex from London or neighbouring counties, before arresting them and seizing their equipment.

“Since Operation Radium was launched, 26 people have been questioned by detectives from Kent and Essex Police’s Serious Crime Directorate. That’s over one quarter of the 100 arrested in the country.

“I want to also reassure you that we’re working closely with banks to help identify victims of crime who are looking to withdraw their cash. The Banking Protocol was launched four years ago and we’ve had some fantastic responses with criminals being detained while the crime is being committed.”

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Commander Clinton Blackburn, National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime at NFIB, said: “Courier fraud is a grossly under-reported crime, usually due to victims being embarrassed and ashamed they have become a victim.

“Courier fraudsters are nearly always part of broader criminal gangs: they are persuasive and can be aggressive. This can be particularly intimidating when they turn up on a doorstep. That’s why we have continued to focus on tackling this contemptible crime.

“We’re sending a loud, clear message to courier fraudsters - your criminal activity won’t be tolerated.”

Police have stressed that banks or the police never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier.

If you need to call your bank back to check that someone is genuine, wait five minutes as fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line to call your bank.

Police stress you should never hand your debit or credit card to a stranger, and if it’s cancelled, destroy the card yourself.

If you have been a victim, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by reporting online by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk


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