AN ELDERLY woman has been scammed out of £2,000 after a man phoned her pretending to be a police officer.

The incident occurred at 2.36pm on Thursday, June 4. The victim, who is in her 80s, was contacted by the man over the phone purporting to be a police officer.

The man purported to be a police officer from Hammersmith police. He explained that the police believed her bank account was being targeted and that £2,000 had been withdrawn from the victims account, and then shortly after re-deposited.

He encouraged the victim to visit her local branch – HSBC on Winchester High Street – and withdraw £2,000 in cash. The victim was coerced into providing the bank with an inaccurate rationale for needing such a large sum of money, suggesting the victim tell the bank teller that it was required for shopping and paying bills.

The woman withdrew the money from the bank and upon returning home she made contact with the man outside her home address. The victim handed over an envelope with £2,000 inside to the man.

Police have now released a CCTV image of a man that we would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

A spokesperson said: "Do you recognise this man? Did you see what happened? Did you see him later that afternoon in the local area or surrounding area?"

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to get in touch by calling 101 and quoting reference 44200202099.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police have urged people to look out for elderly relatives and friends, and remember:

• Police officers will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.

• Consider contacting your telephone provider to get a free call-blocking service if you are getting unsolicited calls.

• If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed.