Detectives are urging residents to be vigilant after a West Winch woman was conned out of thousands of pounds by scammers this week.

The victim lost £4,200 after she was targeted by a cold-caller on Tuesday, when he duped her into believing she was helping police with an investigation into counterfeit money.

She withdrew cash from her bank which was later collected by a “courier” from her home. Later, the scammer called the victim claiming the money was counterfeit.

A second attempt the same day is also being investigated after a man from Clenchwarton was cold-called by someone claiming to be from Hertforshire Police who said they were investigating a theft from the victim’s bank account.

The man was asked to withdraw £9,000 which would be collected following day. The victim managed to withdraw £2,000 and told a family member about the incident who immediately reported it to police. No money was handed over.

Detective Inspector Richard Weller, from Swaffham CID, urged people to make elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours aware of the scam.

He said: “This type of courier fraud is nothing new; suspects will often approach victims under the guise of a police officer, bank or government department, in an effort to win trust and encourage people to go along with the scam.

“They will often use a range of techniques and in these most recent incidents, cold-callers claim to be police officers investigating bank account thefts and counterfeit money. These scammers can be really convincing, making the caller feel they are helping a genuine police investigation, compelling them to withdraw the money. Suspects will then arrange to collect the money from the victim.

“More often than not, we’re talking large sums of cash into the thousands which is ultimately people’s savings and funds they rely on.

“Police officers will never ask you to withdraw money, or send someone to collect money. We know scammers target the elderly and I would urge people to make their family members, friends and neighbours aware of this scam and the warning signs.”