CRUEL fraudsters tricked an elderly resident into withdrawing more than £10,000 in cash and handing it over. 

Essex Police are investigating the con and are urging residents to be vigilant.

An 83-year-old woman was contacted on November 17 and December 23 by two men claiming to be police officers investigating counterfeit money at a bank.

They persuaded her to withdraw more than £10,000, which was then collected by a courier.

On both occasions, he met her at the junction of Hollyhock Road and Radwinter Road, Saffron Walden, to collect the money.

He was described as white, aged in his late teens or early 20s, and had short black hair. He wore dark clothing and had a grey rucksack.

She was contacted again in mid-January and asked to set up a savings account, allegedly for the fraudsters to put money into, but she refused.

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PC Ritch Morris said: “We are continuing our enquiries to find those responsible and urge anyone who has received similar phone calls to please contact us.

“We are investigating similar incidents in the county and I’d ask people to please be vigilant, as these callous criminals are very persuasive.

“Police officers, law enforcement agencies and banks will never ask you to send money, bank cards or other personal property via a courier, taxi or other means.

“They will also never ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone, so please don’t disclose these to anyone.”

Essex Police say you should challenge anyone who asks you such details and if you are suspicious they are not genuine, end the phone call.

Wait at least five minutes to ring your bank to check with them the validity of the call, or use another phone, as fraudsters can wait on the line.

Please report any suspicious calls to Essex Police on 101 so they can investigate.