Kent residents are being warned to be vigilant against fraud attempts following two recent incidents near Canterbury.
On Monday 31 January 2022, an elderly woman living in a village near the city was contacted by someone claiming to work for her bank.
They told her that her account had been compromised and she must go to her nearest branch and transfer money into another account.
The bank contacted Kent Police after the woman arrived and the transaction was prevented. However, the victim later disclosed that she had transferred money out of her account on a previous occasion.
Also on 31 January, another elderly woman in the area was called by someone claiming to be a police officer from London. She was asked to provide personal details but became suspicious and hung up.
Enquiries into the incidents are ongoing and residents are being urged to be on guard against fraudulent callers. Those with elderly or vulnerable relatives or neighbours are asked to check they are aware of such fraud.
Inspector Guy Thompson, of Canterbury’s Community Safety Unit, said: ‘I urge anyone contacted by someone claiming to be from their bank, or from the police, not to agree to transfer any money.
‘Always get independent or legal advice if an offer or request involves money, or speak to family or friends before committing to anything.
‘Don’t be embarrassed about reporting a scam. Because the scammers are cunning there’s no shame in being deceived. By reporting it, you’ll make it more difficult for them to deceive others.’
In an instance where a suspicious caller is claiming to be a police officer, the public is advised to stop the call and ring 101 to check the alleged officer’s identity.
It is recommended to wait five minutes before using your phone after such a call, as there have been cases of fraudsters keeping the line open after a victim has hung up.
For more information about fraud and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim, visit: www.kent.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud
You can also visit the national Take Five campaign website at www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk