Barnet officers are appealing for information following a courier fraud at Squires Lane, N3 in the evening of early April.
On the evening of Thursday, 3 April a woman was at her home address when she received a call from a man pretending to be PC Mason from Paddington Police station.
The bogus officer said that the victim’s bank and credit cards had been used fraudulently in central London. He had arrested those responsible and found in their possession a diary of her personal details that he wanted to check and cross reference. He requested the bank name of the cards and read out a number of bogus sales on the card, explaining that her identity had been compromised. The woman was told to ring the number on the rear of her bank card straight away to report the alleged card activity.
Whilst the woman put the phone down to call the card number, the bogus officer had not put the phone down and consequently handed the phone to another man who called himself ‘John’ from the woman’s bank. The woman answered all the security questions asked and gave her PIN details to the cards.
The bank caller told the woman that the arrested suspects would know where she lived and asked her if she had any valuables at home. She said that she had gold and silver jewellery in a safety deposit box. The bank offered to take the contents of the box and issue her with a secure safety deposit key the following day.
A courier was despatched to the woman’s address in Squires lane N3 to collect the cards and safety deposit box items and was given a password for the courier to recognise.
At 22:00hrs a courier arrived and made off with her cards and jewellery.
The following day, she told the police of what had happened.
Detective Constable Davina Cullen said: ““I have recently visited a lady who was robbed of her savings by these unscrupulous people and I can’t begin to tell you how devastating the effects of becoming a victim of this crime are.
“These fraudsters work very hard at appearing to be genuine. The golden rule should be that if anyone even mentions your bank PIN number either at the door or on the telephone you should stop the conversation by hanging up or closing the door and call police immediately.
“No-one has the right to know your PIN number, it is private to you and a police officer would never ask you for it.
“If you recognise any of the jewellery shown in the photos, or have any information about the courier seen at 10pm on Thursday, 3 April please call 101 quoting 2407571/14 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The courier is described as:
An Asian male. 25-30 years old. 5ft 3”. Short hair and black moustache.
If you know or care for someone who could be vulnerable to this crime please make sure that they are aware of the following:
• Police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card
• Never give your PIN or bank card to anyone
• If you are contacted by someone who asks for your PIN or bank card, hang up
• Use a different line to report it to police on 101 or allow at least five minutes for the line to automatically clear. Dial 999 if a crime is still taking place.