Detectives are reminding Thanet residents to be alert to fraudsters after a pensioner’s cash was taken by a man posing as a police officer.

The Margate resident received a call instructing her that she needed to withdraw thousands of pounds from her bank account to assist in a police investigation into fraud. The conman remained on the line while she went to the bank.

When the victim, aged in her 70s, confirmed she had withdrawn the money, a courier collected it from her in the Hartsdown Road area. The collection, by a man described as in his 20s and with a tanned complexion, was made at around 3pm on Monday 4 December 2023.

Anyone with information regarding this report should contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/214124/23.

Officers also received a further nine reports from residents in Margate, Ramsgate and Westgate on Tuesday 5 December, who had each been contacted by someone posing as a police officer and who gave a similar story. In some cases residents were falsely told their bank cards had been cloned and used in supermarkets. Fortunately all residents became suspicious and ended their calls before any money was stolen.

Inspector Jim Woodward of Thanet Community Safety Unit said:

‘A police officer will never ask you for money so always treat such calls with suspicion and never agree to their request.

‘Also be alert to anyone claiming to be calling from your bank who asks you to transfer funds.

‘Take their details and then end the call. It is recommended to wait five minutes or more after ending the call to ensure fraudsters have not kept your line open. Use another phone if you have one.

‘These fraudsters will try and alarm you into trusting them. Make the time to speak to family or friends, before agreeing to anything.

‘The scams can be sophisticated and confusing, so do not be embarrassed to ask for help. If you think you have been targeted by a fraudster, report to Kent Police.’

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.

By Ed

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