Published: 16:59, 01 March 2021
| Updated: 17:49, 01 March 2021
Conmen claiming to be from the police have been targeting residents in Maidstone by calling and asking them to hand over money.
On Friday, a woman living near Tonbridge Road was called by somebody who claimed to be an officer.
The victim was told she was wanted in connection with a warrant and would need to transfer money from her account to pay for legal advice.
She was assured this would be refunded by cheque the following day and a quantity of cash was transferred, before the fraud was discovered.
A second victim living in Coxheath received a similar phone call on the same day, but declined to transfer any funds to a fraudster.
Following the incident, Kent Police is warning residents to stay alert to scams.
Inspector Stephen Kent from the Maidstone Community Safety Unit said: "Residents should be immediately suspicious of any callers who make contact by phone and say they are investigators and require them to transfer money from their account.
"Police will never ask a member of the public for their bank details or money over the phone..."
"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 their 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."
As a result, police have now issued this 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 46/322871/21.
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.