Two elderly women in St Helens were tricked into handing over a significant portion of their life-savings by conmen posing as police officers.
The two victims were swindled out of almost £12,500 after falling victim to be an elaborate scam.
In one incident, on December 2, a woman in her 70s was called by a man claiming to be a man claiming to be a detective working at Hammersmith police station in London.
He told her someone had tried to access her bank account and that she needed to withdraw the rest of her money so it could be checked for fingerprints
The woman went to her bank and drew out a substantial amount of cash. Police have declined to reveal the exact amount but a spokesman said it was approaching a five-figure sum. She then took it home and, almost immediately, the phone rang again and the same man said there was a courier at the door to collect the money.
When the victim opened the door, a man described as Asian was stood outside.
He said he was a courier acting for the police and took the money away.
A similar incident happened the next day, in which a woman in her 80s from Clock Face was targeted.
The offender again claimed to be from Hammersmith Police and told the woman to get a taxi to the bank.
Luckily, bank staff were concerned about her and only allowed her to withdraw £2,500.
When she went home the offender called again and told her a courier was waiting to collect the money. She opened the door and, again, a man described as Asian was waiting.
As instructed, she handed over the cash to him.
Police are also aware of two other incidents in which a man posing as a police officer has tried, unsuccessfully, to get victims to hand over cash.
Supt Louise Harrison said: “All these offences are very similar and we believe they are all linked.
“Incidents like these are comparatively rare but when they do happen they can have a big effect on the victims.
“Offenders are usually very plausible and can pose as a range of officials, not just police officers.
“However, any genuine official would never call people over the phone and ask them to withdraw money from a bank account.
“If anyone does, never give out any personal details and never hand anything over.”
Supt Harrison added: “We are also working with the banks and I know their staff are on the look out for suspicious transactions or anyone who they believe may be the target of offences such as these.”