AN ELDERLY man in Alresford has been targeted by a scammer pretending to be a police officer.

Hampshire police are alerting residents to a scam where someone pretending to be a police officer calls you and tells you your account is subject to fraud.

A police spokesperson said: “They say that you must immediately withdraw money to protect it from being stolen from your accent. They then send someone round to collect the cash in person.

“They may also say that you need to withdraw the money in relation to an ongoing investigation against you.”

The scam takes place across the country, but this week an elderly person living in Alresford was targeted.

On Tuesday (December 8) an 84-year-old man was contacted and asked to withdraw £5,000.

The fraudsters said that the victim’s car had been involved in an investigation in London before asking him to withdraw the cash.

“Luckily, he phoned the police before parting with any money,” the spokesperson said.

“The scammers often say they are from a police station in London, that they are working undercover, and that there is fraudulent activity in your account, when in fact it is them scamming you.

“They ask for your help and are very convincing.”

They added: “We want to remind you that a police officer would never call you and ask you for money. No one, not even someone from your bank, would call you and ask for your financial details or to withdraw cash.”

Police are urging people to look out for elderly relatives and friends, and have issued advice:

• Police officers, banks and other organisations such as HMRC 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.

• If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their ID number and police force. Wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.

• Never hand money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

• Fraudsters often try to make victims buy iTunes vouchers or high-end jewellery, which they will then sell to make profit. Genuine organisations will never contact you in this way to pay bills or debts.

• 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.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, call 999.