ELDERLY and vulnerable people in Chard are being targeted by telephoned fraudsters, including one person being scammed out of £5,000.

Warnings have been issued by Avon and Somerset Police after one person was left severely out of pocket by the ‘heartless fraudsters’, while two others thwarted scammers by cutting the callers off.

A police spokesman said: “We want people to be vigilant and on their guard against telephone fraudsters.

“In the latest incident, scammers posed as the Metropolitan Police, claiming the victim’s grandson had been arrested for using a cloned copy of their bank card, encouraging the victim to confirm their bank card details.”

In another call, scammers claimed there was a major investigation into the victim’s bank and local post office, involving counterfeit money.

The target was asked to support the investigation by withdrawing cash and checking the serial numbers of the notes.

The fraudsters claimed it was fake and a courier would collect the counterfeit notes for forensic examination.

The police spokesman added: “Neither police nor the banks will ask you for details or PIN numbers on the phone.

“Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.

“Our message is - don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer.

“Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station.

“They will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf, arrange for cash to be collected by a courier, ask for details about your bank card, or ask for the PIN on your card.”

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

“People who receive a call on their landline and are asked to contact their local police station or bank to verify the caller’s details ideally need to put the receiver down and not touch it for five minutes, just in case the fraudster has kept the line open,” said the police spokesman.

“Ensure you have a dialling tone before re-using. Ideally use another phone, such as a mobile phone, and use 101 to verify the call.

“We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.”

If you think you have been scammed call 101 with reference 5219299839.