AN ELDERY man in the New Forest has lost £143,000 in a fraud scam. 

It is one of five courier fraud incidents reported to Hampshire Police in recent weeks. 

Hampshire Police said courier fraud scams often involve the perpetrators contacting the victim by telephone, impersonating police officers, bank employees or IT technicians and falsely informing them that their banking or other details have been compromised. The victim is then asked to provide these details and/or transfer various amounts of money.

The force included details of four of the recent cases, one of which saw a 78-year-old man defrauded out of £143,000.

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The crime was reported on Tuesday, September 19. The victim had been contacted by someone informing him that he had been a victim of a fraudulent financial investment which had caused him to lose money. The suspect told the victim that he could recover the money, but only after transferring a total of £143,000 via the cryptocurrency exchange service Binance.

Another incident was reported on the same day, in which an 84-year-old man received a phone call from someone purporting to be a police officer. The suspect told the victim that two of his grandchildren had been caught with a cloned credit card and asked for his name, number and other personal details. Although no financial loss occurred during this incident, the victim became uneasy about the suspect having gathered his personal information.

On Wednesday 20 September, it was reported that a 69-year-old woman had received a call from someone claiming to be from her bank’s fraud department. The suspect informed the victim of suspicious activity on her account and that accounts had been set up in her name.

The victim confirmed she hadn’t set up the accounts, before the suspect asked her to transfer money to their account in order to protect it. Two transactions were completed and more than £1,000 was lost.

On Monday, September 4, a report specified that an 82-year-old woman had received a call from someone claiming to be a Microsoft employee, saying her computer was at risk and needed to be fixed. The woman believed the call to be genuine because she had been having problems with her computer.

The caller instructed the victim to download the remote desktop-sharing application AnyDesk, which allowed the suspect remote access to her computer. The woman was further asked for her bank details, but quickly became suspicious and terminated the call.

Although no money was lost on this occasion, the suspect did obtain the victim’s driving licence number.

Hampshire Police included within its statement reminders that official entities will not contact people by telephone requesting personal details and information, and that a member of the public should confirm the identity of a police officer by calling 101.

Hampshire Police said: “A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check their identity (it’s a sign that it is a scam if the person becomes pushy or stresses urgency).”