AN ELDERLY woman handed over £4,000 in cash after being repeatedly targeted by a conman claiming to be a police officer.

The woman withdrew cash from her bank in Sherborne on two occasions after being told £11,000 had been taken from her account.

During the elaborate scam the offender told the victim some of her bank notes were forgeries and convinced her a plain clothes officer needed to collect cash from her home.

It was only when staff at the woman's bank became concerned and called police that the scam came to an end.

Now officers have appealed to the public for help to trace the offender.

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Offences took place between Monday December 7 and 11 and cash was collected from the woman's home in Lenthay Road between 3pm and 4pm on December 7 and a similar time the following day.

The offender was driving a white van and is described as being aged in his early 20s, of slim build and clean shaven.

Detective Constable Holly Spillman, of Dorset Police, said: “We are investigating this series of scam calls and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Lenthay Road in Sherborne on the afternoon of Monday December 7 or Tuesday December 8 and witnessed any suspicious activity, the man or vehicle described, to please contact us.

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“I would also urge anyone with dashcam who was driving in the area or residents with home CCTV systems to check their footage for anything relevant.

“This victim was repeatedly targeted by these heartless scammers, she lost a significant amount of money and it could have been even more.

“We would like to remind everyone that neither police officers or your bank will ask you to withdraw money to be collected. They will also not ask for your PIN number. If you are in any doubt, hang up and call your bank directly.

“We are also asking people to speak to their elderly loved ones or neighbours about this scam to raise awareness so that no one else becomes a victim.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Dorset Police on 101, quoting occurrence number 55200186260, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

Last week it was reported that two people in Bridport handed over a total of £10,700 to fraudsters in similar incidents on Wednesday December 9. A third incident was reported in Crossways on Thursday December 10, where the victim lost a total of £6,000.