Residents are being warned to be vigilant against cold callers after attempts were made to con people out of money.
On Tuesday 30 May 2023, three people living in Tenterden, Deal and Sandwich reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer.
The callers said they were investigating credit card fraud, using that as a pretext to ask about the residents' card details.
In most cases like this, victims are told a series of elaborate lies, including that a relative is in custody, to try and convince them to part with their money or personal belongings.
In some cases where victims have provided their home address, someone posing as a courier or police officer has made arrangements to visit the victim’s home after the phone call to collect money.
Look out for vulnerable people
In these particular cases, all three people became suspicious during the call and reported it without giving the fraudsters any details or parting with any money.
DS Leigh Woolnough from the Dover Community Safety Unit said:
‘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. ‘Often, these fraudsters will try and alarm you by saying there has been fraudulent activity on your bank account, or they have arrested someone using a cloned card in your name. Their purpose is to win your trust by sounding very plausible, and then convincing you they are helping to keep your cash safe. 'Unfortunately those who are targeted are often the most vulnerable, such as elderly people or victims with learning difficulties. It is important people know how to spot the signs of a fraudulent phone call so their finances are not put at risk and I would encourage friends, neighbours and family members to help us protect those who may be particularly at risk from these types of scams.’
Report and seek advice
To report a fraud you can contact Kent Police online or by calling 999 in an emergency. You can also contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. You can also visit their websites Action Fraud and Crimestoppers.