Since September 2013 Cambridgeshire has suffered nearly 100 fraud offences with a similar method, we believe these are orchestrated by several independent organised groups and who are likely based in the London area.
Essentially the victim is cold called and informed by someone who identifies themselves as a police officer that their card has been cloned, they then either request the victim packages up the cards complete with PIN codes or that they withdraw thousands so that the investigation can be progressed. The caller asks the victim to confirm their identity by hanging up and calling 999, the caller somehow keeps the line open and assumes the identity of a 999 operator, telling the victim that everything is fine. The caller then calls the victim back and informs them a courier will be dispatched to collect the parcel.
The victims are predominantly vulnerable but only about 1 in 10 are falling for it. The ones that have are often defrauded of thousands of pounds.
The gangs seem to have switched tactics recently and are sending genuine couriers to collect the parcels, these are innocent parties working for legitimate companies, however they also routinely send their own, albeit low level, gang members. Recently a live job came into the Police when a victim contacted us reporting she was waiting at home with £5,000 for a courier to collect, and on 25th February an elderly gentleman in Granchester fell victim to the scam and handed over £2000.
On 25th February 2014 17 scam incidents were reported to our control centre and on 24th February 2014 we received 7 reports and we are aware that there may be many more attempts across the County that have not been reported.
Please do pass this message to friends and family, particularly the elderly who are most vulnerable. If you should receive a call of this nature please report it to Action Fraud, a Police organisation which links intelligence and potential fraudulent acts across the country on 0300 123 2040 or to ourselves by calling 101.
Read more on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website.