Safety advice after telephone fraudster poses as Kent Police officer
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Fraud investigators are reminding residents of safety advice following a report a cold caller claimed to be from Kent Police and defrauded a Medway man of money.
The victim reported receiving a call on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 December 2020 from an individual who claimed to be from the force.
The fraudster then told the resident that someone had used his National Insurance number and he would need to purchase online vouchers, which they agreed to do. The cold caller then instructed them to share the voucher codes, which were passed on over the phone.
Investigators are reviewing the circumstances and would like to hear from anyone that has received a similar call.
Fraudsters can go to great lengths to appear genuine and this can include obtaining personal information, which they then disclose to the victim to give an appearance of legitimacy. In extreme cases, they can also spoof a telephone number to make it appear like they are calling from a genuine agency.
Kent Police will never request money from an individual, nor will an officer ever direct a person to make a transaction on their bank card as part of enquiries.
If you receive such a call, end it immediately, wait five minutes for the phone line to clear and contact Action Fraud or the police. If possible, call from a different number – if the call was received on a landline, for example, contact the authorities on your mobile.
Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur, from Kent Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: ‘Fraudsters are organised criminals and can be very sophisticated in their offending. Their techniques are known to work on people from all walks of life so, even if you do not consider yourself to be vulnerable, it is prudent to be aware of this type of offending.
‘Remember, we will never ask you for money or instruct you to make a payment to assist with our investigations.
‘We are investigating this report and do proactively target people who we suspect are involved in this type of offending. Our expert officers have achieved a number of successful prosecutions this year and work with partner agencies to share safety messages with all groups of people. There will be no let-up in our efforts to protect the public from fraud.
‘If you have received a call of this nature, please report it to Action Fraud or us.’
Reports can be submitted to Kent Police via the force’s website, or by calling 101.
To make a report to Action Fraud, 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting tool available, which is available via this link.