Published: 15:38, 25 November 2021
| Updated: 15:41, 25 November 2021
An elderly woman was saved from handing over £45,000 to fraudsters by vigilant Kent Police officers.
At around 2pm on Tuesday, a woman in her 80s from Marden received a phone call from a person claiming to be a police officer based in Hammersmith.
The fraudster asked her to buy a luxury watch as part of a "police investigation" which would be collected from her home by a courier. They also instructed her to say the watch was intended as a gift for a relative.
She reported the incident to Kent Police and a patrol from the Maidstone Local Policing Team visited her to check on her wellbeing.
While there, the fraudster rang again - and officers answered the call.
An investigation is now underway to identify the caller.
DS Alec Wood said: "Sadly, we know that fraudsters will target the elderly and other people who they think are vulnerable."
He said: "In response, we have a dedicated policing plan in place to ensure victims are protected before any money is handed over.
"We’ve also worked closely with banks, to help their staff recognise the signs of fraud, and our engagement officers regularly share advice with communities who are at risk of being targeted.
"This incident is, however, a timely opportunity to remind people that no police officer will ever instruct you to purchase items to aid an investigation, nor will they ask for your bank details or seek to collect money from you. They will also not ask you to say something that you know to be untrue.
"If you receive a call of this nature, end it immediately and report it via our website, or the Action Fraud website. You can also call us on 101, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Always dial 999 in an emergency
"A swift report can help us intervene before serious harm is caused, as shown by this outcome."