SOUTH Yorkshire Police are warning people after a series of courier fraud scams where fraudsters have been in possession of a list of victims and their contact details with the majority of those targeted being elderly.

A police spokesman said: “There are many courier fraud scams out there at the moment, and these are becoming more sophisticated and realistic day by day. We are now encouraging people to be aware of courier fraud and highlighting some of the signs to look out for if something doesn’t seem right.

“In most cases, courier fraud occurs when people are contacted by scammers claiming to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement authorities. They then con the victim into revealing their PIN and credit or debit card details by either telling the victim that a fraudulent payment has been spotted on their card, or that someone has been arrested using their details and cards.”

On this occasion, the fraudsters are claiming to be either the police or from Action Fraud, and are targeting the elderly.

Victims of courier fraud may be asked to call their bank using the phone number on the back of the card. This usually convinces victims the call is genuine, however, the scammer keeps the line open at their end so when victims make the call, they are unknowingly connected straight back to them or their friends.

Criminals usually ask victims for their PIN number or ask them to key it into their phone. No bank or other legitimate service will ever ask for your PIN number.

The scammer then sends a courier or taxi to pick the card up from the victim’s home. The driver may also not know they’re being used as part of the scam.

The police have also issued advice on how to protect yourself against fraud, including:

Never share your personal details such as your PIN number or your card if you are asked for it (a bank would never ask for your PIN number in this way);

Never send money to someone you don’t know, even if they claim to be from your bank or another law enforcement authority;

Check if the call is genuine by contacting police or your bank using a different phone or wait 20-30 minutes before using the same phone;

Criminals will leave the line open, so be mindful that they could pass the call onto someone else;

If you are unsure whether a phone call, email or text is genuine, talk it through with someone you trust before you do anything.

If you have been a victim of fraud, you should report this to Action Fraud either online at: or on 0300 123 2040 (Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm)

For more advice and information on how to protect yourself against fraud, visit the police fraud page: