AN elderly couple lost more than £20,000 to fraudsters this week and Newton Abbot police are warning people to be on their guard.

The couple were called by the scammers, who claimed they were police officers from the Met investigating a criminal transaction.

Officers believe that other people in the county could now be targeted and are reminding family and friends to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable loved ones.

In the latest scam, which took place on Wednesday afternoon (22 February), the couple from Gloucester were told to withdraw money from their bank accounts before arranging to pick it up through a 'courier'.  

It followed a similar pattern to other fraud attempts around the UK, in which fraudsters claim to be police officers investigating corrupt staff at the victim's bank or fraudulent card activity.

They will often ask the victim to hang up and dial 999 to confirm they are speaking to a legitimate police officer.

However, this is part of the scam as the phone line is kept open and the victim ends up talking to another fraudster who is also involved in the con.

In this type of scam victims are asked towithdraw cash, which would then be collected by a fake police courier on the victim's doorstep, at another agreed location, or asked to send it to an address via post.  

Others are instructed to transfer funds into a fake police bank account.

The fraudsters are manipulative, and victims are often told to not tell their friends or family about them ‘helping’ with the investigation.

This type of scam is known as courier fraud, and the average age of a victim of this crime in Gloucestershire is 79.

Police have urged people to warn their elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours about this type of fraud.