Dorset couple conned out of almost £1 million

Dorset couple conned out of almost £1 million

Published by George Sharpe at 1:20pm 6th February 2020.

Fraudsters have scammed a Dorset couple, in their 70's, out of almost £1 million.

In August 2019, a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police called the couple claiming to have arrested a man in possession of their bank cards. 

He provided them with details of an account where they could put their money so it would be safe.

A joint operation between Dorset Police and City of London Police has cracked down on 'courier fraud'. 

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit fraud by false representation. 

Police Car

A joint operation between City of London Police and Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team executed warrants at addresses in the Ilford area of East London.

39-year-old man and a 50-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation. 

They have been released under investigation.

What is courier fraud?

Courier fraud is where fraudsters call someone pretending to be a police officer or bank official and warn them someone is intent on stealing their money.

To keep it safe, they tell the victim to withdraw a sum of money for collection by a courier so it can be safely stored. This is, of course, a scam.

Fraud

Commander Karen Baxter, City of London Police, National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, said:

“This is a despicable crime in which fraudsters specifically target older people, by exploiting their trust in the police and their bank, to bleed them dry.  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 victim’s doorstep. 

“In the past two years, there have been reports of over 3,000 victims of courier fraud and those numbers include a sharp rise in the last three months.  We know that victims lost over £12 million in this period, but we also know that it’s a grossly under-reported crime.  That’s why we have focused on tackling this contemptible crime with a drive on awareness raising and increased enforcement.

“Together with colleagues in other forces, we’re sending a loud, clear message from policing to courier fraudsters: your criminal activity won’t be tolerated.  We will disrupt your activity, prevent you targeting victims, bring you before the courts and ultimately send you to prison.”

44 arrests have been made since Operation Radium by City of London Police and forces across England and Wales. 24 people were arrested and 18 premises were searched.

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