East Kent residents warned of scam phone calls
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East Kent residents are reminded to be aware of scam phone calls after a woman from Whitstable received a call from a man claiming to be from a government organisation.
The woman, in her 70s, received the call on 2 March 2020 from a man who said he worked for HMRC. During the call she was told she must settle an unpaid tax bill by withdrawing thousands of pounds in cash and posting it to a specific address.
Kent Police was made aware of the incident and officers investigating the circumstances discovered this wasn’t the first time the victim had been approached. She told police she had already paid out a substantial amount of money following calls in February.
Inspector Guy Thompson at Kent Police said: ‘Scammers will purposely prey on vulnerable victims and in this instance the woman was so frightened that she owed the government money she did exactly what she was asked to do. HMRC would never contact people in this way, so be on your guard.
‘We know that fraudsters can sound genuine so we would urge everyone to be mindful of this and look after each other, making sure all friends and relatives are given advice that will prevent them from becoming a victim.
‘Always check a caller is genuine, even if it sounds like they are, and if you are in any doubt hang up the phone and use another phone to call that company or organisation to ensure that the caller is credible.’
For more advice
If you suspect you have been the victim of a fraudster contact 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can report suspicious activity online.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111.
See further advice.