Residents in Thanet and Canterbury are being reminded to be wary following reports of attempts to obtain money by people posing as police officers.

Scammers

On Monday 21 March 2022, a resident in Canterbury lost a quantity of money after he became a victim of a scam. He was called by someone pretending to be a police officer from Watford, who said they had a woman in custody with a large amount of cash and accused the resident of supplying the woman with the money.

In order to clear his name, the victim was convinced by the caller that he should withdraw money from his own bank account which was then collected by a courier the same day.

Similar calls were made to residents in Broadstairs and Birchington on Tuesday 22 March, although on those occasions, the residents ended the calls and refused to confirm any personal details. During these calls, the conmen pretended to be officers from Milton Keynes and Paddington.

Inspector Guy Thompson from the Canterbury Community Safety Unit said: ‘Be alert to any callers who make contact by phone and say they work for the police and require you to hand 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.’

Police 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 01843 222289 quoting reference 46/54019/22.

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

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