Residents across north Kent are reminded to be vigilant for potential fraudsters following reports of telephone calls from people claiming to be police officers.
Since 1 September 2020, Kent Police has been notified of 11 incidents where a member of the public was contacted by someone saying there was an issue with their bank account.
The calls have been received by residents in Dartford, Higham, Longfield, Rochester and Gillingham.
In most of the incidents, the suspect has claimed to be a detective based at a London police station and they advise the victim that their bank card has been used fraudulently.
In one incident, it was arranged for a courier who claimed to be acting on behalf of the police to collect cash from a victim. More than £5,000 is reported to have been stolen.
Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur, from Kent Police’s Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: ‘A police officer will never ask a member of the public to hand over money, nor will they request banking details or a person’s national insurance number.
‘In most of these incidents, no money or personal details were exchanged but I would urge members of the public to wary of this type of scam.
‘Fraudsters can go to great lengths to appear genuine and often target the elderly or people who they think are vulnerable.
‘We are reviewing the incidents and take offending like this extremely seriously. At the same time, there are a number of precautions you can take which can reduce your chances of falling victim to this type of offence. I would encourage everyone to take heed of the following advice and share it with friends and family.’
- 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.
- Never hand over any money, or other items, to a courier after receiving this type of call.
- If you are not confident a person claiming to be a police officer is genuine, ask to take their details and end the call. A police call handler will be able to verify whether your caller was genuine.
- If you can, use a different phone to the one you received the original call on to report the matter to the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
- Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can also report suspicious activity online by visiting: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
- The matter can also be reported to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.