KCC Scams Update

11 August 2023
Dear Kent Residents

This week we have received more reports of Facebook Marketplace, WhatsApp and Investment scams. While they might seem similar scammers become more sophisticated with their attempts in the hopes of catching you off guard. Please continue to warn friends and family of the latest scams as they happen.

For the latest scams alerts as we receive them please add us on Instagram or Facebook.

Kind regards

Victim Safeguarding Officer

Kent Resident Scammed on Facebook Marketplace when buying Camera

⛔ Resident purchased a camera from Facebook Marketplace but now believes this to be a scam as the camera has not arrived and the seller looks like a scam account with no response so far.

🚨 This is a scam.

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

We have had more reports of Kent residents targeted with investment scams and are now being pressured to hand over more money

How to protect yourself from Financial Investment fraud:

❎ Investment opportunities: Don’t be rushed into making an investment.
❎ Remember, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into investing on the spot.
❎ Seek advice first: Before making significant financial decisions, speak with trusted friends or family members, or seek professional independent advice.
❎ FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.

If you think that you may have been a victim of this or any other type of scam, then contact your Bank immediately, which you can do by calling 159 and report it to Action Fraud  or call 0300 123 2040

Large community and religious WhatsApp groups are being targeted by scammers who infiltrate them to try and deceive their members into sending them money. Since January of this year, 268 people have reported falling victim to this scam.

⛔ The fraud often begins when a member of the group receives a WhatsApp audio call from the fraudster, pretending, or claiming, to be a member of the group. This is done in order to gain the individual’s trust.

The fraudster will then call the victim and say they are sending a one-time passcode which will allow them to join an upcoming video call for group members. The scammer then asks the victim to share this passcode with them so they can be “registered” for the video call. What’s really happening is that the scammer is asking for a registration code to register the victim’s WhatsApp account to a new device where they then “port” their WhatsApp profile over.

Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s WhatsApp account, they will enable two-step verification which makes it impossible for the victim to access their account. The scammer will then message other members of the group, or friends and family in the victim’s contacts, asking them to transfer money urgently as they are in desperate need of help.

Head of Action Fraud said: “We urge people always to be wary when receiving contact via WhatsApp or other messaging platforms. This is particularly the case when being asked to provide account information – despite the fact that you may recognise the individual’s profile picture and / or name.”

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Kent residents targeted with letter scam impersonating Sainsbury’s Bank

⛔ Both the wife and husband received individual letters impersonating Sainsbury’s bank. Each letter had a different reference number and it looked genuine. The content of the letters were identical with a closed loan agreement and cheque enclosed.

🚨 This is a scam.

As the couple did not have a loan with Sainsbury’s Bank they knew it was a scam. They checked the numbers online and it was confirmed that the number and address were not Sainsbury’s Bank.

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

“Puppy smuggling, illegal breeding and organised dog theft are serious crimes.”

Criminal gangs have profited from the pandemic and people’s desire for a canine companion – and, sadly, they’re also profiting from a surplus of dogs in neighbourhoods since the lockdowns as people have found looking after a dog more of a burden than they had anticipated and abandoned their new pets.

If you are thinking of buying a puppy, did you know that if you buy through an unauthorised source, you could be funding organised crime?

Help to stop organised crime and cruelty to animals by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800555111 what you know. You’ll stay 100% anonymous.

More information 


UPDATE: Dri Pak recalls Dri Pak Table Salt and East & West Cooking Salt because they may contain small pieces of plastic. The possible presence of plastic makes these products unsafe to eat. The products affected are sold at Home Bargains and East & West retailers. This PRIN has been updated to include an additional product.

Product details
Dri Pak Table Salt
Pack size: 750g
Batch code: 3205 and 3206

East & West Cooking Salt
Pack size: 1.5kg
Batch code: 3201 and 3202

Advice to consumers
If you have bought the above products do not eat them. Instead, return them to the store from where they were bought for a full refund. For further information contact Dri Pak at

Full information here.

Krispy Kreme is recalling White Chocolate & Raspberry Summer 4-pack of doughnuts because it contains peanuts, which are not mentioned on the label. As a result of a packaging error, some packs have been incorrectly packed with two Reese’s doughnuts which contain peanuts.

❌ This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to peanuts. The mispacked products also contain two original glaze doughnuts.

Product details
Krispy Kreme White Chocolate & Raspberry Summer 4-pack doughnuts
Pack size: 4-pack
Best before: 06 August 2023

❎ Advice to consumers
If you have bought the above product and have an allergy to peanuts, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund. For further details or if you have any questions, you can contact the customer care team on 01276 601170 or email them at

Full information here

Report scams and get advice from Citizens Advice consumer helpline 
If you have information on doorstep criminals, counterfeit, fake or illegal goods, illicit tobacco, loan sharks or those selling restricted items to underage kids, call the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 
To report scams and get advice on consumer issues call Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline on
0808 223 1133.


Trading Standards Checked carries out checks on traders so customers can have peace of mind when choosing a tradesperson to do work in their home.

Please help to keep your family and community safe. If you need work done in your home or garden, visit the website to find a safe local tradesperson.

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