Gedling borough residents, especially the elderly, are being warned by police to stay alert following a sharp increase in courier fraud in the area.
Courier fraud is a crime in which the victim is tricked in advance into handing over cash, bankcards or valuable items to a suspect (the courier), who visits them in person.
Nottinghamshire Police said that typically, the fraud takes place within a number of telephone calls in which a suspect (the victim communicator) persuades the victim to withdraw cash or obtain items and hand them to the courier via an arranged appointment.
In recent cases, victims have been targeted by fraudsters claiming to be police officers from Essex Police and Scotland Yard in order to lure people into their trust.
With casing rising police are reminding residents of how they can protect themselves.
Fraud Protect and Prevent Officer Laura Murdock said: “There are many ways in which you can protect yourself from scammers but when it comes to courier fraud, you need to remember that it is okay to ask someone over the phone to verify who they are.
“A police officer would never call you to recommend that you move money to another account or convince you to buy something. Neither will your bank.
“If you get a caller and you are unsure if they are telling the truth, you can also hang up the phone and call the business or police force they are claiming to be from in order to establish if this is genuine.
“It is also incredibly important that people report fraud to the relevant authorities if they are a victim.“Remember, all fraud must be reported to Action Fraud via their website (https://crowd.in/SVxIES) or on 0300 123 2040.
“If you believe a fraudster is at your address, please call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or in an emergency, dial 999.”