Police have warned residents in Cornwall to be on their guard for a bogus caller preying on elderly people in a calculated bank card fraud.
Devon and Cornwall Police report that two women, aged 95 and 82, were targeted on Wednesday by an offender who claimed to be issuing new debit cards from the bank. Both were telephoned to say their new cards would be delivered later. They were then visited at their homes by a man with new fake cards and were asked to hand over their current genuine ones.
The 95-year-old woman was visited at her Bodmin home around 2pm and she agreed to swap her bank card. She later discovered that around £2,000 had been withdrawn from her bank account.
The 82-year-old woman from Truro was targeted with a similar bogus telephone call and a man arrived at her home around 10.30am.
He tried to get her to hand over her card but she refused and called the police.
Detectives are linking the offences and are warning people, especially the elderly, to be on their guard for this and similar scams.
They have issued a description of the man they are seeking in connection with the offences. He is said to be white, around 5ft 2ins tall, in his 50s, of stocky build and with short brown hair. He was wearing a blue two-piece workman's overall and carrying a clipboard.
Detective Constable Rebecca Ellis, based at Bodmin, said
"This is a callous crime by an offender who appears to be targeting elderly vulnerable people."
"We would urge the public, especially the elderly, to beware of this scam. Never give bank details or personal information to anyone and always ask for identification from a doorstep caller claiming to be from an official company."
"We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the man in the area at the time or anyone else who may have received a similar phonecall or visit."
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference BB/13/47.
More information about bogus callers can be found on the Devon and Cornwall Police website