Residents are reminded to be on guard against phone fraudsters following a failed attempt to scam a Tonbridge pensioner out of £4,000.

Officers intercepted a parcel containing the money, after the victim was tricked into posting cash by someone pretending to be from her bank.

The victim, aged in her late 70s, received a phone call on Thursday 2 November 2023, by a person who claimed to represent Santander.

She was told someone had been making fraudulent transactions on her account and that they needed her help to prevent this.

Took over computer

The fraudster was able to gain remote access to the victim’s computer and manipulated her online account to appear as though money had been deposited.

She was then told to withdraw this money and post it to an address, for further investigation.

Kent Police was called after the alert was raised by a relative of the victim and following fast track enquiries by officers the £4,000 was recovered from a local post office, before it could be sent for delivery.

An investigation is ongoing to identify the offenders, which is being led by the force’s Economic Crime Team. 

ABC rule to deter criminals

Detective Constable James Burr said:

‘Criminals will go to great lengths to appear genuine, and this can include obtaining personal information which they then disclose to the victim to give an appearance of legitimacy. These are organised criminals who can be very convincing and whose techniques sadly often scam people from all walks of life.

‘Even if you do not consider yourself to be vulnerable, it is important to be vigilant. Never give personal information in response to an incoming call, particularly if the caller is asking you to do something that will affect you financially. The police or your bank will never request money from an individual, nor will they ever direct a person to make a transaction on their bank card.

‘If you receive such a call, end it immediately. Wait for five minutes for the phone line to clear and contact Action Fraud or the police, if you think you have been scammed. If possible, call from a different number.

‘Remember the ABC rule to help protect yourself and others against fraud – never Assume someone is telling the truth, never Believe what they say unless you are confident that they are who they say they are, and always Confirm the details they have provided.’

By Ed

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