Two arrested after Lancashire courier fraud victims scammed out of almost £100,000 worth of cash and valuables
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Two women were arrested following eight reports of courier fraud in East Lancashire this month.
Victims were defrauded out of nearly £100,000 worth of cash or valuable items during these incidents.
A 26-year-old woman from West Bromwich was stopped on the M6 and arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation on Wednesday evening (October 12).
A second woman, 25, was arrested in Hull on Thursday (October 12) on suspicion of fraud by false representation.
Temp Det Chief Insp Mark Riley, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit said: “These callous and cruel scammers have preyed on some of the most vulnerable people in Lancashire.
“Our enquiries are very much ongoing, and we now have two people in custody.”
The incidents were reported across Darwen, Blackburn, Accrington and Oswaldtwistle.
Every victim was called by someone claiming to be a police officer at Lancashire Constabulary.
The caller would give a false name and collar number before asking them to assist with an investigation or that their card had been used fraudulently.
They would then tell the victim that needed to withdraw a substantial amount of cash and have it changed into euros.
In total, £96,500 was scammed out of vulnerable victims in sterling and euros and high-value items.
While a large amount of this was handed over to the scammers, some of the victims’ loved ones intervened and advised the victims not to hand anything over.
“We are now appealing to you, the public, to spread the word about courier fraud and what it looks like,” Temp Det Chief Insp Riley added.
“If you and others know how to protect yourselves from it, you make it far harder for these frauds to work.”
Across the various incidents several names of police officers were given, along with collar numbers:
- Detective Martin Rose (48522 and 522)
- DC Brian Gosling (5244)
- DC Hama Long (70315)
- DC John Matthews (5581)
None of these names and collar numbers coupled together belong to anyone in the force.
Police added there may be other incidents which have not been reported to them where a different name, collar number, or no name has been provided
The force said enquiries into all of the incidents – and whether they may be linked - are “very much ongoing.”
Officers are now asking people all across Lancashire to be vigilant when it comes to courier fraud.
How to prevent courier fraud
- Remember that the police or your bank will never ask you to assist with an investigation over the phone, withdraw or transfer money or buy high value items.
- Make sure you verify who you are talking to. Clear the line and call police on 101 from a different phone, or wait at least two minutes to contact them or a trusted person.
- If you have been a victim of fraud, contact your bank on their genuine number to secure your finances.
- If you ever have any concerns, call 101 or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.