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Fake police scammers target residents in north Kent with phone calls to 11 homes in Dartford, Higham, Longfield, Rochester and Gillingham

Fraudsters pretending to be police officers have been targetting residents with one victim handing over more than £5,000.

Residents across north Kent have now been warned of the gang after 11 homes reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to be working for the police.

One victim was conned out of £5,000
One victim was conned out of £5,000

Investigations are now under way following the calls received by residents in Dartford, Higham, Longfield, Rochester and Gillingham since the start of the month.

One victim gave £5,000 to the con artists after it was arranged for a courier to collect cash after telling them their bank card had been used fraudulently.

Kent Police has now issued a warning and advice to people about how to remain vigilant.

The criminals claimed to be a detective based in London who had told them there was an issue with their bank account.

Det Sgt Marc Cananur, from Kent Police’s Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: "A police officer will never ask a member of the public to hand over money, nor will they request banking details or a person’s national insurance number.

Police have issued advice after scam calls were made to residents across north Kent
Police have issued advice after scam calls were made to residents across north Kent

"In most of these incidents, no money or personal details were exchanged but I would urge members of the public to wary of this type of scam.

"Fraudsters can go to great lengths to appear genuine and often target the elderly or people who they think are vulnerable.

"We are reviewing the incidents and take offending like this extremely seriously.

"At the same time, there are a number of precautions you can take which can reduce your chances of falling victim to this type of offence. I would encourage everyone to take heed of the following advice and share it with friends and family."

Police have given six pieces of advice to help keep people safe from scammers:

  • 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.
  • 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 end the call. A police call handler will be able to verify whether your caller was genuine.
  • If you can, use a different phone to the one you received the original call on to report the matter to the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
  • 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.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here

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