Two more elderly residents in Burnham-On-Sea have been targeted by telephone scammers this week, prompting a new warning from the police.

Officers are urging residents to be alert to phone scams which involve bogus ‘police officers’ telephoning people and trying to persuade them to provide bank card details, before sending ‘couriers’ or ‘colleagues’ to collect the cards.

There have several incidents in Burnham-On-Sea this week where elderly residents received a call on their landline from someone purporting to be from either the police or a bank.

On one occasion one victim was asked for their PIN number and told that an officer was en route to collect their card.

On a second occasion, the victim was asked to withdraw a considerable amount of money from their account and await further instructions.

Dr Kirstie Cogram, Manager of the Economic Crime Group at Avon and Somerset Police, told “The police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone.”

“Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money or ask you to withdraw cash. The victim who has handed over her bank card and pin number has sadly lost a considerable amount of money.”

“In the second case this week, I would like to praise bank staff who prevented their customer becoming a victim of crime. Their suspicions were raised and they alerted police.”

“It’s important to reiterate the more we talk about this scam, the more people are made aware of it and the less likely they are to become victims. Please spread the word to your relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.”

“If you are unsure of anyone asking you for details, we would advise you to be overly cautious.”

Elsewhere in the area, several victims of the scam have been persuaded to part with thousands of pounds of cash.

Police say there are some simple but effective measures people can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of these scams:

• Never give anyone your bank card or divulge your pin number.

• If in doubt call either your bank or the police, but don’t use the number that you are given by the caller.

• Before you make the call, either use a different telephone or wait for a dialling tone to ensure the bogus callers are not still on the line.

If you have any information about any financial scams or suspected crimes, or you wish to report that you have become the victim of a financial crime, you can contact the police’s Action Fraud line on 0300 123 2040.