POLICE have issued a warning to elderly people to be on their guard for scams after criminals posed as police sergeants, and conned victims into handing over cash.

In the first fraud incident a man in his 70s received a call to his landline from two men posing as police sergeants named Clarke and Wiggins, saying they were from the fraud squad in London. One of the offenders convinced him to withdraw money from his bank account for an investigation. The victim withdrew the money and a courier attended to collect it shortly afterwards, using an agreed password.

The courier is described as an Asian male, in his early 20s, slim, around 5ft 5inches, and was dressed smartly.

In the second similar incident a couple in their 80s received a call on Tuesday afternoon from a man claiming to be a police officer from London.

They were told there had been fraudulent activity on their account and were asked to give over their bank details, as well as withdrawing a quantity of cash. A male courier later attended the address and cash was handed over.

Sergeant Simon Hallam said: "A thorough investigation is under way and enquiries are currently ongoing.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind people that police would never ask you to withdraw cash from your account in these circumstances or disclose any banking or personal details over the telephone.

"Following the incidents, we are also urging members of the public, particularly those who are elderly, to be vigilant against potential fraudsters.

"We continue to remind people of the actions they can take to help prevent themselves, neighbours or elderly members of their family from becoming victims.

"If you have any concerns, take the individual's name, details and a contact number and call to check their authenticity - genuine callers will not mind doing this."

"Most importantly, we would encourage them to report any suspicious activity to police by calling 101 or 999 if a crime is taking place.

"If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a crime, please get in touch as we can only help if we are aware of it."

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting 744S for the first and 466S for the second.