Residents in the Ribble Valley, especially the elderly and those living alone, are being urged to be vigilant after a number of attempted frauds.
The warning has been issued by police, who have received five reports this month of conmen targeting elderly victims for cash in the Clitheroe area.
Police said on each occasion the victim has received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the police. The “officer” has told the victim a relative has been arrested and money is required to progress the investigation.
The victims are told to call 101 to check the validity of the call, which they do. However, when they ring, they do not hear a dialling tone.
The “officer” answers with arrangements made for the victim to be taken to a bank or money shop and the money withdrawn. Fortunately, on each occasion, no money has been exchanged.
PC Derek Mitchell, of Colne Police, said: “The behaviour of these fraudsters is clearly very concerning and we want residents to be vigilant in case they receive any phone calls.
“The police will never contact you directly demanding money to help progress an investigation. If you receive a cold call of this nature, hang up immediately.
“Fortunately, on each occasion, the fraudsters have not obtained any money, having initially demanded thousands of pounds. On one occasion a resident was collected in a black BMW car before being returned home. Enquiries are on-going to locate this vehicle.
“Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org”