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Courier fraud warning as six men from Tower Hamlets arrested in connection to theft of £200k

PUBLISHED: 12:55 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:22 06 February 2020

Six men from Tower Hamlets were arrested as part of an investigation into courier fraud in Kent. Picture: Anthony Devlin / PA Images.

Six men from Tower Hamlets were arrested as part of an investigation into courier fraud in Kent. Picture: Anthony Devlin / PA Images.

PA Archive/PA Images

Six men from Tower Hamlets were arrested as part of an investigation into the theft of more than £200,000 from victims across Kent.

The suspects, who are aged between 18 and 20, are alleged to have been involved in courier fraud offences committed in Faversham and Tonbridge between June and November last year.

Kent Police officers carried out eight separate warrants in London across on January 28 and 29, with two Marylebone men also arrested.

The arrests were part of a larger operation co-ordinated by the City of London Police and supported by police forces across England.

All eight men arrested have been released pending further enquiries.

Courier fraud is an offence in which a victim is cold called and deceived into handing over a large amount of cash.

The offenders, who typically claim to be a police officer or a member of bank staff, warn the victim they are at risk of losing their money due to corrupt bank staff.

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They then advise the victim their money will be safe if they withdraw it and hand it over to a secure courier who comes to collect it from their home.

Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur, from Kent Police's Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: "Fraudsters can go to great lengths to appear legitimate.

"However, being familiar with this type of offending, and being vigilant, is often enough to prevent an offence taking place.

"Remember that the police or your bank will never call and ask you to part with any cash or purchase goods as part of an investigation, nor will they ever ask for your PIN code or arrange for a courier to collect cash or other valuables.

"If you receive one of these calls end it immediately without providing information."

Anyone who does give any personal bank details to a suspected fraudster is advised to cancel their cards immediately by calling your bank.

The victim should, if possible, call the bank from a different phone and make sure to use an official contact number and not one provided by a suspected fraudster.

If unable to use a different phone, it's advisable to call a friend or relative first to ensure the phone line has been properly disconnected.

- If you think you have been a victim of courier fraud, or you know someone who has, report it to police via 101 or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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