SOPHISTICATED scammers are conning the elderly out of thousands of pounds by pretending to be police officers.

In the latest incident, in what appears to be a string of many, an 86-year-old lady living on her own in Headington was targeted by a shameless group.

Con-artists pretending to be from the Metropolitan Police in London called her up on her home phone to tell her that Barclays were taking all of her money, and that she needed to withdraw cash and hand over her bank cards.

The person on the phone gave her his ‘badge number’ and told her to call back the police, on a specific number, to check that he was legitimate – and not a scammer.

This was in fact another bogus call centre – ready to con her out of thousands of pounds.

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The fake police officer, who went by the name of PC Davies, told her that her bank card had been cloned and that somebody was removing money from her account.

He said it was inside job by Barclays – and that she needed to withdraw all of her money but not tell the shop staff why because they were in on it.

He said that later that day he would send a courier to pick up all of her bank cards and cash and would transfer it to another account for her.

Despite not being able to walk very well, and being on lockdown, the woman thought it was so serious that she walked to Barclays in Headington – 15 minutes away from her house – to withdraw £2,500.

She told the lady at the counter that it was for shopping.

Later that day ‘PC Davies’ took her cards at her home address, and withdraw £300 for himself at the Tesco Express in Oxford.

In January a very similar incident happened to a pensioner living in Oxford.

This time the con artist called the 80-year-old pretending to be from the Met Police and claimed he had arrested a man who had the woman’s bank card.

He said somebody would call back from the police to tell her what to do next.

That afternoon she got a call from another fake police officer – this time pretending they were from Thames Valley Police and were based at Didcot Police Station.

The fraudster told the woman that she needed to go and withdraw cash and that evening at 6pm an Asian man, in his 30s, arrived wearing a dark overcoat to collect her things.

He was described as around 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build, with short dark hair.

Last week heartless thieves also stole £400 from an 81-year-old pensioner who was stuck in coronavirus isolation by offering to go shopping for him, only to pocket the cash.

A police spokesperson said: “Being a good neighbour is important, and communities are rallying around to support each other. However, there may be those who seek to exploit the situation also which we have seen in isolation in the Thames Valley.Always check the ID of people who are offering services at your door. If they can’t show you ID and you are not please shut your door."