People in Lancashire were scammed out of more than £120,000 between April 2023 and March 2024.

According to Action Fraud, there were 25 reports of courier fraud, when people are duped into handing over money or valuables to criminals posing as couriers, over this period.

Victims in Lancashire lost a total of £120,192 over the year.

Police are now urging the public, especially the elderly and vulnerable, to remain vigilant.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “We are urging pensioners, and anyone who has elderly friends and family to be vigilant following findings that victims in Lancashire had lost over £120k between April 2023 and March 2024 to courier fraud.

“Fraudsters contact victims pretending to be police officers or bank officials and dupe them into handing over bank cards, which are collected from their home address, often by couriers.”

How to protect yourself from Courier Fraud, according to Action Fraud

1. Never hand over your card: Your bank or the police will never ring you to tell you they are coming to your home to pick up money or your card. Never hand these over to anyone who comes to collect it.

2. Stop and think: Criminals are experts at impersonating banks, trusted organisations or the police. They will try to rush and panic you into responding to their requests. It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore these requests.

3. Always speak to your bank securely: If you’re contacted out of the blue, you can always call your bank back on a number you know to be correct. Hang up and wait five minutes before you call your bank, as criminals may stay on the line. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to call your bank.

Victims of fraud can make a report to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.