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As from Kent Public Protection - 23 October 2019


Fake text messages targeting parents

Action Fraud and others are reporting a scam by text where criminals are sending out distressing messages.

  How this scam works:

•Victims receive a text message from a loved-one which says they are in hospital

•The only way that they can make contact is via text message

•Victims are asked to purchase mobile phone top-up codes and text it to the criminal

•Once the criminals have the code, they can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.

Protect yourself:

•These messages can evolve into more elaborate scenarios and play on your emotions and get you to react quickly without thinking.

•If you receive one of these text messages, don't send any codes or money, delete it and report it to Action Fraud.

•If a family member was hospitalised, they would never be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it.  


Inheritance scam

We have had reports of inheritance scam where the victim is told that someone very rich has died and the victim is in line to receive a huge inheritance.


 How this scam works:

•You are sent a letter from abroad

•The writer claims to have access to a large amount of money from a deceased client

•You are told you share the same name as the dead person

•If you respond, they’ll ask you to pay various fees – for example: taxes, legal fees, banking fees etc. – so they can release the money

Protect yourself:

•Although there are legitimate companies who make a living by tracking down heirs, they don’t do it in this way.

•If you’re asked for a fees it’s very likely to be bogus.

•Letters/documents provided by the fraudsters are generally badly written. Look out for spelling mistakes and poor grammar.