BOGUS callers, posing as council officials or housing trust staff, have been targeting elderly residents in Bromsgrove.

West Mercia Police is investigating two incidents of attempted fraud, involving two men knocking on doors in the Charford area, asking for money to perform home repairs.

The first incident, on March 1, saw a man approach a pensioner in his 90s, while he was clearing snow off his driveway.

The man, described as white, well built and around 5ft 8, asked for £60 in return for him clearning the resident's drain.

In the second incident, on Monday, March 5, a woman in her late 80s was approached at home and asked to pay money to sort out a rat infestation.

Neither resident needed work doing on their households.

The suspect in both cases had short black hair, looked to be aged in his 50s and spoke with a local accent.

The man is thought to have driven away in a grey transit van-type vehicle.

Detective Constable Ian Tomlinson said: "

No legitimate council official will ever approach you at home and ask you for money to repair or maintain your property. The householders did absolutely the right thing by reporting the bogus caller to us.

"If you've had a similar experience, or have noticed two men behaving in a suspicious manner around the Charford area, please get in touch with us.

"Any information, no matter how insignificant it seems to you, may help our investigations.

"I'd also like to ask anyone reading about these incidents to please share the information with any older people they know, who may not have access to the internet."

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust has also received a number of 'disturbing' reports of bogus callers, pretending to be from BDHT, asking for money for general maintenance and boiler checks.

Director of resources Graeme Anderson said: "We’ve had reports of people posing as BDHT employees requesting money on the doorstep for general maintenance and boiler checks.

“Our tenants’ safety is of paramount importance so we want to confirm that we never ask for cash on the doorstep and we always carry ID.

"If in doubt, do not let people in before calling our office on 0800 0850 150.”

Local police officers have been delivering advice leaflets to residents in Charford, reading: "There has been an increase in criminal activity where criminals are posing as police and BDHT staff, and encouraging vulnerable people to hand over their bank cards/cash and bank details.

"The police will never ask anyone to hand over their bank cards, or ask you to leave them somewhere for them to collect.

"We have also had an increase in rogue traders/gardeners, charging large amounts of money for unnecessary work. Say no to cold callers.

"If you experience any of these people, please report it to the police by dialling 101."