Fraud prevention advice given to shoppers in Bluewater
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Shoppers in Bluewater were able to pick up advice and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud when the Kent Police Prevent and Protect Team visited the force’s store.
On Friday 20 May 2022, the team handed out tips on how to avoid being scammed, in particular courier fraud.
Courier fraud is the name given to incidents where fraudsters attempt to trick victims into withdrawing sums of money with the intention of sending a courier to collect it from them. Police officers will never ask a member of the public to withdraw cash or send a courier to collect money or items from them.
Steve Kelly from the team (pictured along with Prevent and Protect officers, Robert Slade, Sonia Crosbie and Emma Swietochoski-Hay) said: ‘Unfortunately courier fraud is one of the most reported crimes which is why events like this are really important to raise awareness and provide advice and tips. Callers can be very convincing.
‘Often, these conmen will use many different tactics to defraud innocent people and can be very persuasive, so it is important that whilst investigating such incidents we also remind everyone of the steps they can take to stay safe from fraudsters.
‘We also receive reports of people posing as police officers, conning vulnerable people out of money.
‘The Police will never ring you and ask you to co-operate in an investigation by attending your bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination, who will also be a fraudster.
‘Additionally, the Police will never ask you for your bank card and PIN number to be collected by a courier.
'If in any doubt, don't answer the door and report the incident to Kent Police or Action Fraud straight away.
‘Also remember the ABC rule to prevent fraud – never Assume someone is telling the truth or Believe what they say unless you are confident of their identity, and always Confirm the details they have provided.’
If you are not confident a person claiming to work for your bank or building society, or any other caller, 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.
You can also report suspicious activity online by visiting the Kent Police or Action Fraud websites.
Information that may assist investigators can be notified to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or by completing the online form on their website.