CALLOUS tricksters are continuing to target pensioners and fleece them of their lifesavings across North Worcestershire.

Police say there have been multiple attempts by fraudsters posing as officials with the aim of conning them out of thousands of pounds in Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove and Redditch by claiming there is fraudulent activity going on in their bank accounts.

Operation Prospero was launched by West Mercia Police aimed at tackling the issue after an increasing number of incidents were being reported.

Last month, a 79-year-old woman from Cookley was scammed out of £4,500 after offenders posing as police. Earlier this month, two other Wyre Forest elderly couples were targeted but raised the alarm before any cash was handed over.

Inspector Jake Wright, of Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team, said his colleagues in Bromsgrove and Redditch have received reports of people posing as HMRC staff and telling targets they could face arrest if they fail to pay an outstanding bill.

Investigating officers have also discovered a recent pattern in Wyre Forest where surnames of potential victims have been beginning with ‘MA’.

Insp Wright said: “In the last couple of weeks we’ve had further reports of fraudsters again calling the elderly pretending to be police officers and again asking them how much money they have in their bank accounts.

“They again inform the victim that their accounts have been fraudulently used to make a purchase and that they need to withdraw their savings to hand over to police who will arrange to collect the money.

“Offences in Bromsgrove and Redditch have concerned suspects pretending to be from HMRC and informing the elderly person they face arrest if they fail to pay an outstanding bill.

“I’m reassured that we’re not aware of a successful offence in the last couple of weeks but we’d be naïve to assume we’re being informed of every incident.

“I’ve written to every bank, building society and post office to make them aware of challenge anyone withdrawing sums of money that are inconsistent with their usual behaviour and to notify police.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact West Mercia Police on 101.