Gravesend residents are being urged to be vigilant after a pensioner had £15,000 stolen by a man claiming to be a police officer.
On 24 April the victim, a woman in her 80s, received a telephone call from a fraudster who claimed to be with her niece and that she needed her bail to be paid before she could be released from custody.
The pensioner became suspicious and attempted to call 101 to report her concerns however, the call did not get through to Kent Police and it is believed the offender kept her phone line open to intercept any calls to officers.
She went on to receive a further fraudulent call, which claimed the police officer was genuine. The initial bogus police officer then called and told her to withdraw £5,000. The woman withdrew the money from her bank and handed it over to a courier who took the cash away.
The victim was asked to do this again on 27 and 28 April and was met each time by the same courier who took the money away.
Chief Inspector Neil Loudon, Kent Police’s District Commander for North Kent said: ‘Sadly we hear of crimes of this type and those targeted are often some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
‘A police force will never ask a member of the public for their bank details or money over the phone, nor would a force ever ask anyone to visit their bank and withdraw money before handing it over.
‘If you receive one of these calls end it immediately and wait at least five minutes before using your telephone in order to clear your line from the scammer.
‘If you are reading this and have vulnerable friends and family who are not on social media, or who have internet access, please do share this information with them so they are aware.’