Alert – recent incidents of fraud in the area

Sussex Police Logo 2

Please read and share the below to make others aware, including any vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives

Bogus council visitor in Mayfield

An elderly resident received a visit on Friday 16 September from someone claiming to be from Wealden District Council. The caller asked to inspect the decoration inside the property and proceeded to give the whole place a thorough look over, including the loft space and they then left.  From enquiries made later, the district council did not arrange any such visit. This was clearly a bogus caller and although nothing was stolen at the time, the visit may have been to check out valuables or to work out how to gain entry on another occasion.

If anyone calls at the door and asks to come in – whatever their reason – always check their ID. Double check again by phoning the organisation they claim to be from but use the number provided on any paperwork you have and not from their ID card in case it is fake. If they are genuine, they will not object.

Heathfield Rogue Traders – driveway cleaning and car theft

Two men and a woman, possibly known to police, targeted an elderly man in Downsview, Heathfield last week. They repeatedly called at his property to persuade him to have his driveway cleaned and on the third visit, despite initial refusals, he gave in and they began to carry out the work. At the end, he paid them £400 in cash and in general conversation mentioned he might sell his car. Whilst the ‘traders’ were at the property, one of them must have gone inside and lifted a set of the car’s keys because later on whilst the householder was out for a brief time, they removed the car and he returned home to find it was missing. They called him later stating they had got rid of it for him, even though he had not asked them to. No such agreement was made and no paperwork was exchanged and they had had no permission to do this.

The suspects are described as two men, one in his 50’s with brown/greying hair and of a heavy build, the other in his 30’s of average build and both speaking with a local accent, and a young woman with shoulder length brown hair. She was apparently wearing a very low cut top.

Anyone wishing to report anything in relation to the above, is asked to contact us via 101 and quote reference 513 of 17/09.

Never agree to work by someone knocking at the door offering to carry out any kind of work. This is a particularly common problem in the Wealden area at the moment. We are working hard to catch and stop these people but we are urging the public to be vigilant too.
Rogue trader attempt, Chelwood Gate

We received a report from a relative of an elderly lady in Chelwood Gate last week that a man called at her door and talked his way into her home whilst putting her milk away in the fridge for her. Whilst doing so, he claimed she had a tile missing from her roof and asked if she wanted it repaired. She refused but asked him to leave a card, which he did not have. He was described as being white and tanned with dark hair, about 5’10” tall, scruffy looking and English but with no particular accept. He was seen to be driving a white open backed van with a ladder on the roof.

If anyone has any information which may help us investigating this incident is asked to contact us via 101 (by phone or by emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk) quoting reference 783 of 15/09.
Bogus ‘High Court’ debt collectors

A visit from ‘bogus High Court debt collectors’ resulted in a robbery from an elderly resident in Eridge Green early yesterday, Monday 19 September. The two suspects were described as a man of just over 6ft tall, aged about 25-30, of a solid build and wearing a dark jacket and trousers, accompanied by a woman in her 20’s, about 5’6” tall, medium build with light brown shoulder length hair and wearing a jacket and skirt. At 8 o’clock in the morning they knocked on the door claiming to have come from the High Court to collect an unpaid amount of VAT. They had no ID or paperwork relating to the so called debt but when they were refused entry, they used force to get inside. They demanded to know where his money was kept and proceeded to ransack the house to find it. They eventually made off with cash amounting to a few hundred pounds.

Police are urgently appealing for help and are asking for witnesses to this, or similar incidents, to contact us via 101 (phone or by emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk) quoting reference 307 of 19/09. Alternatively reports can be made anonymously via Crimestoppers.
Courier Scam Fraud in Heathfield

An elderly man residing in Heathfield has been a victim of ‘courier fraud’ losing a very significant sum of money. He received a phone call from a man who told him his bank card was faulty and needed replacing with a new one. A courier came round shortly after and swapped the cards over. The scam was discovered two weeks later when a letter came from the bank approving an overdraft to the tune of £6000, which the man had not applied for. He went to the bank who pointed out that the card he had been given was a fake and that thousands had been taken out of his account over the previous weeks.

Please heed this reminder that banks will never ever phone with this type of request nor to ask you to reveal your bank details to the caller, the police, or anyone else. This is a well known fraud with details of each incident only altering slightly. Often the callers will remain on the line having instructed people to contact their bank. The line then stays open and when people think they are calling their bank, they are in fact still speaking to the fraudster.

For any information relating to this incident, or to report a similar incident, please contact us via 101 and quote reference 505 of 19/09. If you believe you are being targeted by a fraud that is underway, please call 999 in the first instance.

 

Help us keep Sussex safe

If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Your local teams

Visit our Website to contact your local team, view local news and follow our social media accounts. Simply type your post code in the ‘Find a Local Area’ box located in the top right of the web page.

Posted in Uncategorised