Police are warning people in Burnley to take extra care after fraudsters conned three elderly people out of thousands of pounds.
Officers received the three reports of courier fraud from the Burnley area this week, with each victim handing over £4,900 to scammers. Police believe all three offences are linked.
In all instances, vulnerable and elderly members of the community have been targeted with phone calls from an individual claiming to be from the bank or police.
The victims have been told not to inform any friends or family, withdraw large volumes of cash or purchase Euros and hand them over to a ‘courier’ who has later visited their property with a pre-agreed code word.
Fraudsters are highly persuasive and use an array of systems and tactics to appear like legitimate organisations.
The fraudsters held the victims phone line open all day to ensure that should the victim call their genuine bank or police, they could intercept the call.
A police spokesman said: "Clearly, these instances are highly emotive and extremely distressing for the victims, who are now left feeling vulnerable and without their cash over the festive period."
Police are urging people to advise loved ones, friends, family or neighbours that the bank or the police will never:
• Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.
• Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
• Ask you to transfer money out of your account.
• Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards or cheque books.
If you have information or concerns regarding Courier Fraud you can call 101, or 999 if it’s an emergency.