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Courier fraud scam cons Gravesend pensioner into buying high priced watch

PUBLISHED: 09:47 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 20 October 2017

Kent Police

Kent Police

Archant

Police are warning residents to be alert to the scam

A scam which tricks victims into thinking they are helping with a police investigation has struck a Gravesend pensioner.

In the con, victims are being called at home by fraudsters posing as officers, who claim they need the victim to help in an investigation into illegal activity at specific stores.

Victims are told to go to specific jewellery stores and purchase a single or series of expensive watches.

The con-artists warn their victims not to tell anyone about the “investigation” and assure police will offer a refund.

Jewellery is then handed over to another of the frauds, posing as a plain clothes police officer, who does not hand over any many to the victim.

In September, a man in his 80s was targeted and told to buy two watches from a store in New Bond Street, London.

After purchasing one, the pensioner made his way to a second store and tried to buy another.

But his bank, concerned at the high value spending going on, did not authorise a second payment.

Staff became worried for the victim as he left the store in a hurry and notified police.

In this case, officers were able to secure a refund for the original watch.

Detective sergeant Marc Cananur said: “We are currently conducting enquires into these incidents but would like to remind people how to spot the signs of a fraudulent phone call.

“Sadly, we are seeing more cases like this and I would encourage friends and family members to pass on fraud prevention advice to help protect residents who may not be aware of these types of scams.”

Protect yourself against courier fraud, remember:

· The police or your bank will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank card or other items and will never ask for cash, valuables, or your PIN.

· If you receive one of these calls end it immediately without providing information.

· If you wish to call your bank use a number known to you, not one provided by the caller. Call from another phone, or call a friend first to ensure the offenders have been disconnected from your line.

· If you’ve handed over any personal bank details to a fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.

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