Fraudsters phoned at least 15 homes – mainly in the Solihull and Northfield areas – in the space of a few hours on the 13th February posing as detectives and trying to panic people into handing over bank cards and security details.

The ruse involves the bogus officer claiming the target’s bank account has been hacked or their card cloned…and that they need to seize the card and PIN number to stop fraudulent transactions.

West Midlands Police launched a widespread awareness campaign this week highlighting the con – and the vast majority of people contacted yesterday followed police advice, hung up and didn’t divulge bank details.

However, the cruel tricksters managed to persuade an 82-year-old Shirley lady into revealing her PIN number and handing her card over to a ‘courier’. It was later used to withdraw £250 cash and make two purchases totalling almost £1,000.

Also a 91-year-old woman from Weoley Castle also phoned police to say she handed over her bank card to a courier on Wednesday (Feb 12) along with £100 cash – her most recent withdrawal – which the cruel con artists claimed they needed as evidence. Another £294 was taken from her account before the card was cancelled.

The callers’ tactics vary: some claim to be from regional police stations, some from London some say they’ve arrested people and recovered cloned bank cards, whilst others suggest money has been taken from accounts.

“Police officers or genuine bank officials would never ask you to divulge PIN numbers over the phone or send couriers round to collect cards. If you receive a call requesting this then hang up and contact police.”

So far this year West Midlands Police has received around 50 calls from residents – whose ages range from 59 to 93 – reporting they’ve been targeted by the “Courier Con” with victims having collectively lost around £10,000.

Many people fall for the scam because they believe the bogus PC’s story has been verified by a follow-up call to their bank – but because the scammers don’t hang up the victim is unwittingly still speaking to them and not a bank official.

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST COURIER FRAUD:

• Your bank or police will never send a courier to your home to collect bank cards
• Your bank or police will never ask for your PIN number
• If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.

If you’ve been a victim call your bank and cancel your cards immediately – try to call from a different phone if reporting it immediately after being contacted by someone you believe was a scammer – and report it to West Midlands Police on 101