Police scammers warning

BATTLE Police are urging residents to be on the alert following a wave of fraud across the Rother area.

In recent weeks a number of residents in Bexhill have been targeted by telephone scammers and cold callers.

In some cases, people are reported to have handed over hundreds of pounds to the fraudsters.

And police fear Battle may be next on the con artists’ list.

Speaking at Tuesday’s Battle Town Council meeting, Sergeant Paul Masterson, of the Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It’s just starting to creep this way.

“If you know any people who may be susceptible to that kind of fraud, please be aware.

“Bexhill has been hit quite hard and quite a few people have lost a lot of money, so we want to knock that on the head.”

In one recent case in Bexhill, a pensioner was persuaded to part with £20,000.

It was only thanks to a quick-thinking taxi driver, who informed a passing Police Community Support Officer, that the cash did not fall into the fraudster’s hands.

Last Thursday (January 16) a pair of con artists posing as police officers tricked their way into the home of an elderly couple to steal their valuables.

A man and a woman called at a house in Peartree Lane, Bexhill, occupied by a couple in their nineties.

The visitors claimed to be police officers and managed to escape with jewellery, a gold necklace and other valuables.

On Monday an elderly couple were approached by a stranger in Western Road who asked them to hand over £400 for work he claimed to have carried out on their roof.

And a resident in Hooe recently paid out £217 to fraudsters to have a computer fixed - when there was nothing wrong with it in the first place.

Sgt Masterson said: “Our message is to, under no circumstances, let people into your house unless you know and trust the person.

“Do not be afraid to challenge what somebody tells you on your doorstep, and don’t be afraid to shut the door.

“Please contact us with any suspicious activity you may witness at the earliest opportunity.”

Anyone who has been targeted by con artists in the Rother area, or knows someone who has, is asked to call Sussex Police on 101.