POLICE are warning people to trust their instincts after telephone fraudsters claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police Fraud Team attempted to scam residents in Kidderminster and Stourport.

Three attempts were made on Tuesday (October 29) to trick people - some elderly and vulnerable - out of thousands of pounds.

One elderly woman was told to withdraw £5,000 but was prevented from doing so by staff at her bank.

Chief Inspector James Baker, of West Mercia Police, said: "We received several calls from victims on Tuesday who had been targeted in Kidderminster and Stourport by fraudsters on the telephone pretending to be police officers.

"This is of course worrying for our community that criminals are trying to earn your trust as police officers and I would like to reassure everyone that no police officer will ever contact you asking for your bank card or cash.

"If someone does, it's a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

“In total there were three calls from suspects pretending to be police officers from the Metropolitan Police.

"The callers have requested the victims withdraw a large quantity of cash each and [said] that a courier will attend their property to collect the cash with values ranging between £500 and £9,300.

"I am pleased to say that in these cases no money was handed over and our teams are working to identify those responsible.

“I would also like to reassure the community that my officers and I are always happy to be stopped and chatted to about any concerns you or your family have about this type of especially cruel crime or any criminal matter.

"They are also clearly identifiable and I would encourage everyone in Kidderminster and the surrounding areas to be comfortable and confident in asking anyone saying they are with the police to produce their identification if out of uniform.

"If you are in any doubt then please call 101 and quote their police number and name to the operator.”

Police are now urging residents to make family members and neighbours aware of how these groups are operating.

Detective Sergeant Jon Cooper, of the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “These scams are very elaborate and very convincing and very cruel.

"Organised crime groups are becoming increasingly creative and brazen in order to steal your money.

"Pretending to be a police officer is in itself a crime and using people’s natural instinct to trust what they are told is especially sinister.

“These groups and the individuals who carry out the calls and collection of money - known as courier fraud - are also cowards, more often than not targeting elderly people or the most vulnerable.

"I would urge everyone to make family members or those they know may be a target to please be aware how these groups are operating, what they say, what they want and most importantly what one should do if they receive a call like the ones yesterday."

Visit takefive-stopfraud.org.uk for further advice. In an emergency, dial 999.