Community safety

Fraud Prevention

A Fraud Prevention Team called Operation Sterling is working on fraud prevention calling "Courier Fraud" crimes.  As you may or may not be aware "Courier fraud” is a real issue at the moment, and has been for over a year now. Certainly in the Metropolitan Police area we are recording daily crimes - on average ten a day. Our priority at present is to work on this fraud which is increasingly affecting the elderly and vulnerable.
The method used is to cold-call the victim at home on their landline number. The suspect then either pretends to be the police or from the victim’s bank. The suspect will say that their bank account has been compromised and that in order to investigate it, and catch the culprits, the card needs to be collected ASAP for forensic or other issues.

Victims are then asked for the pin number to the card which they may give verbally over the telephone (via clever social engineering) or they may be asked to key-in the pin number on their telephone keypad.  This enables a simple "App" called "Blue Box", for example, to decode the tones of the number keyed in.  Social engineering aside, the telephone allows the suspect to successfully obtain the pin number.  Then to verify that the call is ‘genuine’, the victim is advised to phone his or her bank or the Police to confirm what they have just been told. Meanwhile the victim's line has been held open by the suspect (who does not hang up at their end and can thus glean further information). Once the victim is convinced, a "courier" is sent round to his or her address to collect the card. The courier is more often than not an innocent cab driver but can be the suspects themselves.
Much work has been done via Transport for London regarding  prevention work streams for the cab companies etc, but Please be aware; neither the police or bank will ever ask for your PIN so don't give it out.

Join us on:


Share this page: