Suspect Charged With Defrauding Pensioner

Suspect Charged With Defrauding Pensioner

Kent Police have confirmed that two charges have been authorised against a fraud suspect, after an elderly man from Sittingbourne was found alone in Chatham town centre.

The investigation began on Saturday 9th January after Kent Police received a call from staff at a taxi company who were concerned for a man in his 80s.

The elderly man, who was safely taken home by attending officers, reported that he had made a cash payment to a man who claimed to be from Swale Borough Council, purportedly for work to be carried out at his property.

He also reported that he had been taken to Sittingbourne and Chatham town centres, where unsuccessful attempts had been made to obtain money at a bank and a pawnbroker.

Following an investigation by detectives in the Swale Criminal Investigation Department, Danny-Lee Andrew was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences on Saturday (23rd January).

The 28-year-old, from Maidstone, was later charged with two counts of fraud and has been remanded in custody to attend Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday (25th January).

Safety advice from Kent Police

Cold callers can go to great lengths to appear genuine before attempting to coerce, or intimidate, victims into handing money. They tend to target people who they suspect to be vulnerable, including the elderly.

The following advice can help reduce the chances of being defrauded:

  • If you receive a request for payment, make a note of the caller’s details and end the call. Avoid paying a cold caller on the spot.
  • Research the agency which the caller claims to be from. This can include checking the agency online, or asking a friend or relative to do so on your behalf.  
  • If you do return the call, dial an official number you have sourced and not the one the caller provided.
  • Never hand over money to a courier who has come to collect money.
  • If you suspect the call was fraudulent, wait for at least five minutes for the line to clear before contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Kent Police on 101. If possible, use a handset on a different phoneline to make the call.

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