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Elderly Dartford and Gravesend residents warned about bank card fraudsters

PUBLISHED: 16:22 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 10 July 2013

Police are warning people to be vigilant following a bank card scam where fraudsters have targeted elderly people in the Dartford and Gravesend areas.

Victims are contacted by conmen who say they are calling from a store in Bluewater. They claim staff have detained people suspected of using a bank card in the victim’s name and ask the victim to answer a series of security questions.

Instructions are then given to the victim to call either their card issuer or police but when the phone is put down the bogus caller keeps the line open. The victim then attempts to dial their bank or police but is unaware they are still speaking to the offender, who then obtains details needed to steal money.

In some cases victims have been duped into having their cash cards collected by courier. Following this, sums of money are withdrawn from the victim’s bank account, using both the card and PIN number obtained by the conmen.

At least seven offences have been reported over the past two weeks and in one scam as much as £6,000 was taken. Most victims are either elderly or vulnerable.

PS James Kay said: “These are elaborate scams which are made even more credible when phone calls are followed up by a visit from a courier who is expected.

“It is so important to remember never to confirm any personal details during an incoming call. A bank should know your details and would never confiscate a victim’s cards or ask for PIN details under any circumstances. Genuine bank employees will also be prepared to provide verifiable contact details for you to call them back.

“Before calling either the police or card issuer make sure the line has been cleared, preferably ring from another phone like a mobile. If this isn’t possible ensure there is a dialling tone.”

Contact Kent Police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 if you suspect any suspicious behaviour from either a telephone call or visit.

Visit kent.police.uk/advice/property_security/fraud/Scams.html for advice.

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