Victim speaks out after courier fraud

Banbury Police Station
Banbury Police Station

An elderly victim conned out of £10,000 by a fraud scam has spoken about his ordeal to the Banbury Guardian.

As reported in the January 15 edition of the Banbury Guardian, the 83-year-old – who wished to remain anonymous – received a call from someone claiming to be from Leighton Buzzard Police Station on January 8.

After being told by the supposed officer they had a man in custody who had used a cloned card, he was then persuaded to withdraw £5,000 from two bank accounts in Banbury and Chipping Norton and give the amount to a courier who came to his home address in Banbury.

The pensioner said: “I had a call supposedly from a DCI Barry informing me they had a man in custody who claimed to be a nephew of mine. He asked if I had been to Essex and said the man had a £1,700 music centre in his possession and had used a cloned card and my pin number. I was shocked and said how on Earth could it have been my card as it was never out of my possession and never ever used a cash machine or revealed my pin to anyone.”

Following another conservation with ‘DCI Barry’ on January 9, the pensioner was told he was one of five other people who had their cards cloned, and to not use his bank card for 24 hours. He was also told not to tell anyone about the scams for 48 hours and that local police would not be informed until 4pm-5pm later that day. But he had another call from ‘DCI Barry’ that day saying someone had been to his account and withdrew £6,250 from Barclays in Chipping Norton and £10,000 fromTSB.

He said: “I couldn’t believe this had happened and I told him I was most careful with not using cash machines or revealing my pin number to anyone. The officer told me not to worry as my funds had been replaced by police overnight with counterfeit money. He then asked me if I wanted to help police catch these evil people, and asked if I would go to Chipping Norton and withdraw £5,000 of this counterfeit money from each account.

“Even now I really hadn’t any doubts this wasn’t genuine as their voices were so convincing. With hindsight I realise how stupid I had been and I had always said I don’t know how old people could possibly get caught out by these evil people.”

Despite bank staff being surprised at the amount the pensioner withdrew from the bank accounts, he came back to Banbury where he received a phone call in the evening from ‘DCI Barry’ asking about the money.

After being asked to seal the money in a carrier bag, a courier would then pick up the package using the password ‘King’. The pensioner said: “Not long after this there was a knock on the door and a tall man asked if I had a package for him and gave me the password ‘Ping’.

“I said I was a bit suspicious because that wasn’t the password given. Almost immediately my phone rang and it was ‘DCI Barry’ enquiring if the courier had been yet. I said yes but was just querying the password.

“He said people easily make mistakes and I went back to my front door and stupidly gave him the package.

“This was the only thing that in the past 48 hours had given me the slightest doubt this wasn’t genuine.”

After receiving another call from DCI Barry on Saturday morning asking him to withdraw more money from his accounts, the pensioner realised he had been conned and went to Banbury Police Station.

The pensioner added the fraud team at TSB was able to return £5,000 to his account, with Barclays also working on a refund application.