West Kingsdown resident targeted by phone scam

Residents across Kent are reminded to be vigilant against fraudsters posing as police officers, following an attempted scam in Sevenoaks.

On Monday 20 January 2020 at around 12.30pm an elderly woman from West Kingsdown received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer from Paddington Police Station.

He gave the victim a false name and police ID number, claiming that her bank card had been used fraudulently at a department store in Central London. She was falsely informed that two people had been arrested and that the police believed her bank card had been cloned.

The woman avoided giving out any bank details and passed the phone to her husband, who challenged the male by asking him questions about the police station he said he was calling from. Unable to provide the correct answers, the caller then hung up.

Chief Inspector for Sevenoaks, John Kirby said – ‘Unfortunately, there have been a series of incidents across Kent in recent months that mirror this one. It is likely these crimes are being committed by the same offenders and often they target the elderly or vulnerable.

‘We have a dedicated fraud team who work hard to detect this sort of crime but people need to be aware of how to spot the signs of a fraudulent phone call. While the individual targeted in West Kingsdown was quick-thinking it is easy to be fooled by these convincing criminals and have your finances put at risk.
‘Remember, a police force will never ask a member of the public for their bank details, or money, over the phone so you should never give them out in this way. A police officer will also never ask for any money, or other items, to be handed over to them or a courier.

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.

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