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PCC urges residents to be aware of courier fraud

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Over £429,000 was lost to courier fraud in Avon and Somerset between March 2023 and April 2024, contributing to a national loss of £28.7 million, data from Action Fraud has revealed.

Courier fraud occurs when people are contacted by persons pretending to be police officers, or bank officials and they are duped into handing over money, valuables or bank cards, which are collected from their home address, often by couriers. The criminals use a variety of different tactics, often claiming that there is a problem with your account, and they need your help to catch the real criminals.  

The victim may also be encouraged into handing over their bank cards and PINs, as well as high value items such as jewellery, watches and gold (coins or bullion). Victims can also be coerced into going out and buying items such as gold and jewellery from legitimate retailers on behalf of criminals.

Of reports made nationally, 63 per cent of victims were female and 37 per cent were male, with an average loss per victim of £20,032.

PCC Clare Moody said, “This is an appalling crime. These criminals steal huge sums of money from people by abusing the trust they hold in bank and police officials – a trust that people should be able to rely on.

It’s important that we are all alert to courier fraud and know how to spot the warning signs. The perpetrators who carry out this type of crime often use highly sophisticated tactics, but if we use this knowledge, we can stop them.  Please report any frauds in progress by calling 999 immediately. Reports of fraud should also be made to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.”

Signs of courier fraud

  • Courier fraud usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call to the victim.
  • Typically, the suspect will pose as a bank official or a police officer.
  • Courier fraudsters will usually request the victim purchases high value items such as Rolex watches or gold bullion, withdraws cash or provides a bank card for collection from a courier.
  • Fraudsters will instruct victims not to tell any family or friends about what they are doing.
  • When carrying out courier fraud, criminals will often request the victim hangs up the phone to ring their bank for confirmation while keeping the line open. The suspect then pretends to be bank official and provides false confirmation.
  • Fraudsters will also make arrangements for a courier to meet the victim to collect the item they have purchased, cash they have withdrawn, or their bank card.

Anyone who receives an unexpected call from someone claiming to be one of these officials should verify they are speaking to someone genuine: hang up, wait five minutes and call back on a number they know is genuine.

Avon and Somerset Police recommend that if anyone is contacted out of the blue by the police or the bank and asked to withdraw money, handover bank cards or make purchases, report it to police immediately by calling 999.

For those that would like peace of mind, a call blocking device to filter unwanted scam and nuisance calls and stop them from getting through to a person’s landline. The devices allow calls through from a trusted caller list set by the user for friends, family members, doctors and any other trusted contacts. To find out more about call blockers, visit

Reports of fraud should also be made to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.