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Warning regarding telephone calls and messages from fraudsters

Residents are reminded to be on guard against telephone fraudsters who may be posing as employees of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

On Monday 20 August 2018, Kent Police received two reports of attempted telephone frauds to pensioners in Tonbridge.

One received a text message and the other a telephone message from a person saying that were from HMRC and that the resident was wanted for a criminal offence. Both were advised to call a specified number to avoid arrest.

In each case, the recipient did not respond and the incident was referred to the police.

Sergeant Andy Gallon of the Tonbridge and Malling Community Safety Unit said: ‘These fraudsters often pretend to be from an organisation or company you trust such as a bank, police or other official agency. They are very plausible and usually know some personal information such as your home address and date of birth.

‘If you receive one of these messages, do not call back or give them any additional information.

‘You must wait at least five minutes before using your telephone in order to clear your line from the fraudster.

‘You should then contact the organisation they said they were representing using a number you know, such as one from your latest bill, the telephone book or from their official website. Speak to a family member of friend if you need any additional advice or assistance.’

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 by visiting: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111.