Investigators are reminding Maidstone residents to take care after a conman posing as a police officer called pensioners to persuade them to hand over their bank cards.

On Monday 24 January 2022, four separate residents living in areas to the south of the town were called by somebody who falsely said they worked for the Metropolitan Police.

A further call was made to a fifth victim the following day from a fraudster stating they worked with Hammersmith Police.

Fraud

The elderly victims were told a person had been arrested in London in possession of bank cards in their name. Some were advised a person would come to collect their credit card so that their money could be safeguarded.

Inspector Diane Webster said: ‘Fortunately in these cases, the victims or a relative became suspicious and the calls were terminated without any cash being stolen.
‘Residents should be immediately suspicious of any callers who make contact by phone and say they work for the police and require them to hand their bank cards or money to a courier.
‘Often, these conmen 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.
‘A police force will never ask a member of the public for their bank details or money over the phone and if you receive one of these calls end it immediately.’

Inspector Diane Webster

Further advice

  • Never hand over any money, or other items, to a courier after receiving this type of call.
  • If you are not confident a person claiming to be a police officer 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.

Anybody with information regarding these incidents is urged to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 24-1179.

You can also contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report suspicious activity online by visiting their website.

The matter can also be reported to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or by using the online form.

By Ed

©2022 Hawkinge Gazette       -       Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites