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Police in Kent and Essex have issued a warning over conmen who have tricked local residents out of thousands of pounds to fix drainage faults, that didn’t even exist. This gang of fraudsters is believed to be responsible for a series of “drain frauds” in Essex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and the Met Police area. The most recent incidents happened in Kent in January of this year. In all cases the tricksters call at targeted homes and pose as a drain engineer or a new neighbour and claim there are problems with the main drains in the street outside the victim’s home. The conman (or woman) also tells the victims that he or she has made arrangements for well known drainage firms to do the work. The victims are then contacted by accomplices fraudulently claiming to be from the recommended drainage firms and ask for large deposits towards payments. The tricksters are never seen again. In incidents in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex last July one victim lost £6,000 and another person was tricked out of £1,500. In two incidents in Southend, the drain fraudsters made over £10,000. PC Tony Thomas, of Essex Police, who is investigating the Stanford-le-Hope incidents, said: “We are now aware of the scale of this drain con because it is being used throughout London, Kent and the South-East. The most recent incidents have happened in Kent and the gang could soon be moving back into Essex.” “We want to warn people in case these despicable people come back into the county. We also want to hear from anyone who has been tricked in this way but might be too embarrassed to tell us. There might also be people who were not taken in by this scam.but have failed to tell us.” “It is important to make the public aware of this gang and warn them how they operate. If you are approached please phone police immediately.” “Anyone with information about drain scams in Essex or Kent should contact Pc Thomas at Tilbury police station on 0300 333 4444.”