Detectives investigating fraud offences reported to have been committed against vulnerable people across Kent have made four arrests.
A 35-year-old man from Canterbury, a 33-year-old man from Loughton in Essex, a 26-year-old man from Maidstone and a 24-year-old man from Ashford were detained at around 3.30pm on Wednesday 15 July 2020 and remain in custody.
They were arrested together at the M20 Maidstone services in a van believed linked to offences currently being investigated by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
Victims have reported being targeted by rogue tradesmen carrying out substandard work on their properties, before then receiving follow-up calls from fraudsters pretending to be police officers.
The bogus officers claim to have arrested those responsible for the work before then asking to collect the victims’ bank cards so they can be used as evidence.
Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘A police officer will never ask you to withdraw money or hand over your bank cards. Anyone who does receive a suspicious telephone call of this nature should hang up, wait five minutes to ensure the line is clear, and then call 101 to check the credentials of the person who called.
‘It is not unusual for fraudsters to target the same property twice, for example by carrying out substandard or unnecessary repairs for a high fee and then posing as a police officer who is investigating the very crime they themselves have committed.
‘Contact your bank immediately if you think you may have been scammed and also report the incident to Action Fraud.
‘Remember the ABC rule to help protect yourself and others against fraud – never Assume someone is telling the truth, never Believe what they say unless you are confident they are who they say they are, and always Confirm the details they have provided.’