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West Midlands Police

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Advice centre


Courier Fraud


Fraudsters want your PIN and bank card – don’t let them scare you into giving these away. It’s a con, call 101.

What is courier fraud?

Phone scammers cold call you claiming to be a bank employee, police officer or other official. They say your account has been hacked and that they need to seize the cards and security details, including PIN numbers, to stop further fraudulent transactions. In some cases, a courier arrives to collect the bank card from your home. These fraudsters often suggest you hang up and call the number on the back of the bank card – but remain on the line to intercept the call.

Protect yourself
  • Your bank or police will NEVER send a courier to your home to collect bank cards
  • Your bank or police will NEVER ask for your PIN number
  • If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately
  • Always be wary of any unsolicited callers – if in doubt, hang-up the phone or close the door and call police
Report it immediately
  • Call police on 101 if you are contacted by someone asking for your PIN number, your bank card or both
  • Already handed your details to a suspected fraudster? Call your bank and cancel your card immediately
  • Call your bank from another telephone – the fraudster may still be on the other line

Cyber Crime

What is cyber crime?

Cyber crime is any criminal act dealing with computers and networks and the internet.  It covers a wide range of issues affecting all areas of society.

Cyber crime

If you think you have become a victim of cyber crime, please call 101.

What to do if you come across illegal content online

  • If you see content that you consider illegal such as racist or terrorist content, you should report this to the Police on 101.
  • If you come across content that you consider to be illegal such as child abuse images or criminally obscene adult material, you should report this to the IWF:

For detailed advice on all aspects of cyber crime and how you can ensure you and your family are aware of the dangers please visit

Key advice from WMP

  • Choose strong passwords and change them regularly
  • Review bank and credit card statements regularly
  • Update your operating system on a weekly basis
  • Install anti-virus security software  and make sure you run regular updates
  • When using free wifi be aware that you are giving people access to your device.
  • When in a wi-fi hotspot adjust your security settings to limit who can access your machine.
  • When shopping online make sure the site is security enabled, look for web addresses with 'https or shttp.
  • Back up your work, music, photos etc on a 'cloud' or separate hard drive.
  • Treat all unsolicited emails with caution and never click on links to visit unknown web sites
  • Don’t open attachments in emails that you’re not expecting – they could contain a virus or code that would allow someone to control your computer.
  • Be careful not to share personal information such as address information, bank details, telephone numbers, date of birth etc on social networking sites and other websites that don’t use encryption to secure the information you publish.

Advice for children and parents

General advice for children

The internet is a big part of our daily lives and it is important for you to be aware of some of the dangers that can be associated with it.  Below is some advice around using the internet and staying safe:

  • Never tell a stranger your email, telephone number, mobile number or address.
  • Consider changing your email address if you think a stranger knows it.
  • Tell your parents or a teacher if you're worried about something or someone that you have come across on the internet.
  • Don't give out personal details about yourself.
  • Never email a photo of yourself or arrange to meet someone from the web.
  • Don't believe everything you read - sometimes people don't tell the truth.
  • Use your common sense; if something seems wrong or makes you feel uncomfortable, don't reply and tell a parent or other responsible adult.
  • Always tell someone if something is happening that you don't like.

Some examples of what to look out for:

  • Someone you've met in a chat room wants to meet up.
  • You are asked for personal details or a photo.
  • You get an email that's rude or says nasty things.
  • Someone you've met online wants you to keep a secret or not tell your parents.
  • Cyber bullying - writing nasty things on someone's profile or sending unpleasant emails, texts or instant messages.

If you've come across something that you are not comfortable with on the internet, there are a number of different things you can do:

  • Talk to someone you can trust about it; it might be your parents or someone else at home, or perhaps a teacher at school.
  • You could speak to a professional in confidence at ChildLine on 0800 1111 - you won't have to give your name - they're just there to help.
  • Consider reporting it. See below.

General advice for parents

Some guidelines around internet safety:

  • Understand how your child is using the internet, talk to them and show an interest.  Get familiar with websites they are visiting and applications they use such as direct messaging. 
  • Keep all computers and equipment in a family area so you can see the sites your child is using and be on hand if they need help.
  • Don't just think about the computers – phones and games consoles can also be used to go online so make sure you are aware of other ways your child may be accessing information
  • Use parental controls on all equipment which can be connected to the internet. 
  • Make sure you child understands not to give out personal information such as their address and telephone number.
  • If you are concerned about any online activity please report it to the police non emergency 101 number if visit the Internet Watch Foundation

For more information on online safety:

Social media users

First and foremost – make sure that your privacy and security settings are regularly reviewed so that only friends and family can see your pages, particularly if you post personal information.

Cyber crime - social

Be aware that once you have posted something, whether it is a status update, a comment or a picture, even if you delete it, it may have been captured elsewhere. 

Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence to other people or groups.

Be aware of 'phishing' scams including fake friend requests and posts inviting you to visit other pages or sites.  Also be careful about clicking on links in posts.

Be aware of how much personal information you put on social networking sites either in profiles or general posts – including phone numbers, workplace details or addresses.

For more advice on social media security please click here.

Fraud and scams advice

  • For a list of types of online fraud, click here.
  • One of the main things in protecting yourself against online fraud is to be aware of what to look for to make sure the website you are using is secure.
  • Secure websites will have a padlock symbol in the browser window frame (not on the page itself) that will appear when you try to log on or register.
  • The web address should begin with 'https://’. The 's' stands for 'secure'.
  • Always ensure you have effective and up to date antivirus/ antispyware software running

For more information on online fraud please click here.

What to do if you think you have been a victim of fraud

Report it to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting



Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre where you should report any incidents of being scammed or defrauded.

Get more information on the different type of scams that are operating by viewing the little book of big scams.

Useful links

Identity Theft

Identity theft

There are a number of ways criminals use to get personal information:

  • Bin raiding – stealing  personal information from rubbish bins ie, bills and bank statements
  • Phishing – emails that are linked to false websites pretending to be banks etc, asking for sensitive information such as PIN numbers and passwords
  • Phone phishing – criminals phoning people pretending to be from the bank asking to confirm personal details
  • Theft – stealing wallets, purses etc and using the personal information
  • Postal theft – information stolen from post
  • Open sources – information from the internet and social network sites
  • Hacking – software used to gain access to personal computers or company’s systems

Tips for avoiding becoming a victim of identity theft

  • Keep personal information secure - do not write down or let anyone know your PIN number or passwords. If someone calls you about your personal details or bank accounts, always ring them back through the contact number you would normally use or ask them to give your some reference details that the company would hold. Also, report any stolen or lost identity documents as soon as possible.
  • Shred personal documents - destroy anything that contains your personal details (bank statements, bills, envelopes, junk mail). Shred as much as possible. If you are unable to shred documents, tear them up into small pieces.
  • Review your financial statements - always regularly look at your financial statements to ensure there are no unknown transactions from your account. Also complete regular credit checks from a credit reference agency to ensure your record is accurate.
  • Don’t advertise yourself to become a victim - remove as much personal information as possible from sites on the internet, especially date of birth and addresses.
  • Moving house? Remember to redirect your mail - ensure you change your address with all companies and even place a redirect on your post to ensure documentation does not fall into the wrong hands.
  • Antivirus Software - always install anti-virus software and a firewall to ensure others cannot access you personal details from your computer.
Identity Theft

What do I do if I become a victim?

If you believe you have become a victim of identity fraud and you think an account of yours has been defrauded, please contact the bank or building society where your account is held.

If you have received a phishing email, please forward it to

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