Telephone fraudsters target Kent pensioner

police issue safety advice after oaps targeted by scammers on the isle of wight

Concerns have been raised by west Kent residents after conmen posing as police tried taking money from them.

On 18 April 2019, a woman from Tunbridge Wells and a pensioner from Tonbridge were separately called by men who said they were officers from Hammersmith police station.

Both were told some men had been arrested with a cloned bank card for their accounts.

The woman was advised to withdraw a quantity of cash from her account and, to keep it safe, it would be collected by a courier.

The victims became suspicious, declined to hand over any personal or bank details, and contacted Kent Police to alert officers to the attempted frauds.

Inspector Christian Mayers from the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit said: ‘These residents acted correctly by declining to give the caller any bank details and then contacting Kent Police when they became suspicious.

‘Unfortunately, those who are targeted are often the most vulnerable, such as elderly people or victims with learning difficulties.

‘On the same day as these incidents, a man in his 80s from Sevenoaks was called by a suspected fraudster who said he was an Essex police officer.

‘He was persuaded to withdraw a quantity of cash that was later collected by a courier who visited his home address.’

The courier is described as being of mixed race, in his 30s, about 5ft 6ins tall, with short black hair and a beard. He was wearing a high visibility jacket.

Inspector Mayers emphasised: ‘A police force will never ask a member of the public for their bank details or money over the phone.

‘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.’

Further Advice

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 then end the call.

Wait for at least five minutes for the call to clear and then contact 101, or 999 in an emergency. A call handler will be able to verify whether your caller was genuine.

Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can also report suspicious activity online by visiting:

Anyone with information about the fraud and attempted frauds in west Kent can phone Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting 23-0492.