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Warning over phone calls by bogus police

Residents are reminded to be on guard against telephone fraudsters who may be posing as police officers.

Officers are investigating an incident in the Tunbridge Wells area, after money was stolen from an elderly woman who was contacted by a man claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police.

The 93-year-old victim was called on 22 January 2019 by someone who told her he was a detective from Hammersmith police station. She was warned money had been stolen from her bank accounts and instructed to withdraw a sum of cash to assist an investigation

On Saturday 25 January a person knocked on the victim’s door claiming to be from the ‘Rapid Response Fraud Unit’ and collected the money, a total of £1,000. The alert was raised to Kent Police on Tuesday 29 January and enquiries are ongoing.

Inspector Chris Mayers said: ‘A police force will never ask a member of the public for their bank details, or money, over the phone. If you receive one of these calls end it immediately and wait at least five minutes before using your telephone in order to clear your line from the scammer. Unfortunately those who are targeted are often the most vulnerable, such as elderly people or victims with learning difficulties. It is important people know how to spot the signs of a fraudulent phone call so their finances are not put at risk and I would encourage friends, neighbours and family members to us help protect those who may be particularly at risk from these types of scams.

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.
• Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can also report suspicious activity online by visiting: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
• The matter can also be reported to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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