Fake police target homes of vulnerable and elderly in Tonbridge

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By kentsussex | Thursday, January 31, 2013, 16:27

Officers are warning residents not to give out personal bank details over the phone, or large amounts of cash to anyone impersonating the police.

Three offences have been reported this week, though fortunately in each case the victims were savvy enough not to fall into the fraudsters' trap.

First, on 28 January an 86-year-old woman from Tonbridge who had her debit card stolen the day before was contacted by a man purporting to be from the police. 

He attempted to persuade her to tell him her PIN but she rightly refused.

No money was taken and the woman contacted her bank to cancel her cards, and police to report the incident.

On 29 January at 2:40pm, an 87-year-old woman from Golden Green, also called police after she was contacted by a man asking her to withdraw money from her bank account and hand it to police in connection with a 'fraud investigation'. 

An Asian man came to her house hoping she would hand over cash but he made off without any money after the woman, who had become suspicious, called her son.

The man who came to her home was described as in his mid-20s, around 5ft 5ins tall and wearing a dark hat cap, a dark jacket and jeans. 

He had a beard or stubble, and also wore a grey scarf and dark framed horn-rimmed glasses.

Then, on 30 January at 2:40pm, another vulnerable woman, this time from Maidstone, called police after she was also contacted by a man who wanted her to withdraw a large sum of money and hand it to police. 

Again, she had become suspicious and called Kent Police who advised her to return the cash to the bank immediately and not to hand it to anyone else.

Chief Inspector Jon Kirby said: "Kent Police are taking these matters very seriously. In each case the victim has been a vulnerable woman but thankfully each has been savvy enough to smell a rat and contact Kent Police before parting with any money or bank details.

If contacted by 'police' then call 999

"Police officers would never ask for cash or a PIN number and we urge anyone approached in this way to follow these ladies' examples and call 999."

Officers believe the three incidents may be linked and ask anyone who receives similar phone calls or house visits from people purporting to be police officers to dial 999. 

Anyone with information about the attempted frauds can also contact DS Lynda Birch at Tonbridge Police Station, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



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