Sussex Police are warning all businesses along the South Coast to be wary of parcel deceptions following several incidents in the area.
The victim will receive a telephone call from another local business in the area, or someone claiming to be an identified person from a local business, stating that they are due to have a parcel delivered to them that day but will not be available to collect it. The caller then requests that the victim accepts the parcel on their behalf and pays any money due, and they will re-pay them at the first opportunity when they collect the parcel.
Sometime later that day, a courier will arrive and request payment for the parcel - normally between £40 and £100.
The parcel is later found to be full of scrap paper and when the victim contacts the person or business they believe telephoned them, they know nothing about it.
There have been over 40 offences since the beginning of August all along the South Coast from Hastings right through to Worthing and with many in the East Downs area including Eastbourne and Polegate.
Police are urging any businesses who receive such a call not to accept the parcel, dial 1471 on their telephone in order to try and obtain the telephone number that called them and contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Handcuff and serial 1816 of 17th August. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Sussex Police uses the Brighton and Hove Business Directory to reach out to businesses to inform, warn and appeal for information relating to crime. Further information can be found about the Directory on our website: Use our Knowledgebase seach facility and type the words "Business Alert".
Visit the Sussex Police website at www.sussex.police.uk for news, career information, local policing and other fraud alerts.
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