Kent Police warn residents about the latest courier fraud which involves criminals pretending to be Police Officers to persuade victims into buying a valuable item which they must hand over to a taxi driver or courier.
The Rolex watch courier fraud – how it works
— The criminal calls or visits the resident claiming to be a Police Officer.
— They tell the resident they have been a victim of some type of fraud and they need to help the Police with their enquiry.
— The resident is told their bank account is being used by criminals. To help with the investigation they need to withdraw money and buy a valuable item, like a Rolex watch.
— The criminal arranges for a taxi driver or courier to collect the item which will be used as evidence in the investigation. The resident is told they will be refunded when the investigation is over.
— The courier is also a criminal involved in the fraud.
What to do
— Hang up if you receive one of these calls.
— If they are at your door politely say you need to go and close the door. If you are worried contact a friend or neighbour and tell them about the visitor.
— If you think you have been a victim of this fraud contact the Police.
REMEMBER: The Police will NEVER ask for cash, valuables or PIN numbers.
WARNING: Telephone callers may insist you hang up and check their ID by calling a number they give to you. This is part of the fraud. Criminals stay on the line and pretend to be Trading Standards to verify the caller. Report these calls to Kent Police at your local Police station.
These criminals often target elderly residents so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.
For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Cash stolen after victim distracted at home in Ashford
Kent Police Officers investigating a report of a distraction burglary in Ashford have issued a computer-generated image of a man they want to identify (see image below).
The offender called on the elderly woman at her home in the Brookfield Road area on the evening of Monday 2 October 2017.
Detective Sergeant Carl Evans said: ‘The man claimed there was a problem with the water supply and asked the elderly occupant to go upstairs to check a radiator. After he’d gone she realised money had been stolen from her purse.’
Detective Sergeant Evans urged people to be vigilant and to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives. He said: ‘Although unharmed, the victim was understandably shaken by this incident. But there are ways people can protect themselves.’
• Ensuring rear doors and windows are shut and locked when answering your front door
• Considering fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms
• Always checking the ID of cold callers – a door chain or spy hole will help you do this without letting anyone into your home.
• Don’t be afraid to turn people away
Detective Evans is keen to speak to anyone with information about the alleged offence or the identity of the suspect.
Witnesses are asked to call the Kent Police appeal line on 01843 222289 quoting reference number ZY/047324/17.
Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.