THIEVES stole £600 from the bank account of a elderly Northfleet woman after she handed over her details in a phone scam which is sweeping north Kent.

Police have issued an efit of a man who is suspected of pretending to be a police officer and asking for bank details and PIN numbers.

There have been 13 reported incidents in the last month and eight victims have handed over their details after being targeted.

Each time the victim is called by someone claiming to be a police officer who explains that their bank card has been fraudulently used.

The suspect advises the victim to contact their bank to cancel their card or offers to transfer their call to the ‘national fraud line’.

The fraudster never hangs up while the victim thinks they are calling their bank or being transferred to the fraud line.

The suspect then pretends to be from the bank or ‘national fraud line’ and obtains card details and the PIN number from the victim.

They then arrange for a courier to collect the bank card from the victim’s address.

Money is then withdrawn from the account.

Det Con Hollie Brown, from Kent Police, said: ‘Police, banks and other reputable organisations will never ask for bank card PIN numbers.

If you are suspicious about anyone who claims to be a police officer make a note of as much information as possible and contact the police using a different telephone to the one you received the suspicious call on.

‘Do not give out any bank card details, such as your PIN number, over the phone and never hand over any bank cards to someone who calls at your door.

‘I would urge people to explain this scam to their friends and family and be vigilant of anyone trying to scam you or someone you know. ‘ Do you have information?

If you recognise the efit or have information about this incident, please contact DC Hollie Brown on 01474 366072 or call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.