West Kent residents warned to take precautions against fraudsters
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Residents in west Kent are warned to beware of criminals posing as police officers to target cash in bank and building society accounts.
Between 1 December and 3 December 2020, two people living in the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge areas were contacted by fraudsters claiming to be officers at the Metropolitan Police.
One victim was told a person had been arrested with a cloned bank card for their account and was persuaded to withdraw quantities of cash and pass it to a courier to keep it safe.
The second victim was deceived into withdrawing money from their account and passing it to a person they thought was a police officer who said they would check for forgeries.
In both cases it was later discovered the victims had been conned and the money stolen.
Chief Inspector Mark Stubberfield of the Sevenoaks Community Safety Unit said:
‘We are asking residents to beware of fraudsters who can be very persuasive when they call on the telephone pretending to be a bank or building society employee, police officer or other public official.
'You should always be cautious of callers you don't know and if somebody contacts you stating they are a police officer and tells you to withdraw cash and pass it to a courier at your house or other location, end the call immediately.
'Leave your phone for five minutes to clear the line from the fraudster and then contact the police. A police officer would never ask for bank card details or money over the phone or at the door.’
Can you help?
Anybody with information that could assist the investigations is urged to call 01622 604100 quoting crime reference 46/215876/20.
For advice on how to avoid becoming a victim contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website.
To report suspicious activity call 101 or 999 if there is a crime in progress. You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or use their online form.