POLICE are urging Cheshire residents to remain vigilant against courier fraud.

Since the start of 2024, police have received more than 100 reports of the crime, causing a reported loss of more than £2 million.

Courier fraud involves someone calling the victim, usually vulnerable or elderly, and persuading them they are an official person such as a police officer or from the bank.

The victims are asked to withdraw money, purchase expensive items and gold bullion, or provide their bank details before being convinced to hand these over to a 'courier' who attends their address, often with a promise that the items will be returned or that they will receive compensation.

To help tackle the issue, Cheshire Police has issued advice on how to keep yourself and others safe.

DC Joe Duckworth from the force’s Economic Crime Unit said: “Those who commit courier fraud can be very convincing, but there are a number of ways to prevent fraud, and I would advise you to become familiar with these tips.

“Please share them with any elderly or vulnerable family members or friends to ensure they don’t become victim and always remember the police or the bank will never call you to ask you to withdraw large sums of money or confirm your personal details or security pin.”

Cheshire Police’s tips to prevent courier fraud

  • Never provide personal or financial information to someone you don't know or trust, especially over the phone.
  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately and report it to Action Fraud via their website.
  • If you receive a suspicious text, ignore it, block the number and forward it on to 7726. This enables your provider to investigate the origins of it.
  • A police officer will always respect you wishing to confirm their identify. Never feel embarrassed to contact 101 from a different number to confirm they are genuine.
  • Contact your bank directly using a known and trusted phone number to verify any requests for money or sensitive information.
  • Never withdraw large sums of money based on instructions from someone claiming to be from the police or a bank. Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to withdraw money to assist an investigation.
  • If you think you have been a victim of courier fraud, contact the police immediately on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
  • Remember, genuine organisations will never cold call you asking for this information. If you're ever in doubt, hang up and contact the organisation directly using a known and trusted phone number from their website.