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Telephone scam warning

Monday 9th March 2015

RESIDENTS in Bearsted are being urged to be extra cautious after a spate of telephone scams in the area.

Criminals have discovered a way of targeting unsuspecting homeowners, claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police, and advising that their credit cards have been cloned and should be cancelled.

Then, in a complex scam whereby they keep the phone line open, as victims call to cancel their card details, the scammers obtain all they need to know to make off with vital data to access the victim’s account.

In some cases, victims are advised to call 101 – the non-emergency police number – to verify the caller’s identity, but again, the line is intercepted and the call goes to an accomplice, not the police.

Bearsted community warden Martin Sherwood said: “This new method has taken scamming to a whole new level. It is very clever and very plausible. The best advice is never to give any information of this kind away on the phone and, if someone calls you, claiming to be from the police or a credit card company, return the call from a different telephone line or a mobile. That way, if they have intercepted the line, you won’t be caught out.”

In the same way, people should never click on any email links purporting to be from banks, credit card companies or PayPal.