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 Two in court following Darlington courier fraud

 23/09/2020

​Two people have appeared at court after an elderly man was conned into handing over more than £100,000.


Awais Zaman, 19, of Brooklyn Road, in Coventry, and a 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested on Monday (September 21) and charged with conspiracy to defraud.


They appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe this morning, where they were released on bail to appear at Teesside Crown Court on October 21.


It follows a courier fraud incident in which a man in his eighties was repeatedly cold-called by people who claimed to be officers from the Metropolitan Police.


The callers told the man he had already fallen victim to a scam, and tricked him into handing over more than £100,000, which was picked up by ‘couriers’ who attended his home in Darlington.


It is one of a number of incidents that have been reported to both Durham Constabulary and Northumbria Police over recent weeks. Officers have been working together to identify those responsible and to safeguard any victims.


Courier fraud sees fraudsters contacting their victims by phone, often claiming to be a police officer, bank or other government department.


They will then pressure the victim to hand over their bank details, or cash and other expensive items, which are then passed on to a courier.


Detective Inspector Craig Rudd, from Durham Constabulary, said: “Sadly, the elderly and vulnerable are more at risk of this type of fraud, so we would encourage people to take the time to talk to their loved ones and alert them to this type of scam.


“Please reiterate to them that the police will never ask anyone to withdraw cash, transfer money or send over bank details.”


If you think you have been a victim of courier fraud, or any other kind of fraud, please contact police on 101, or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


You can also report incidents online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk