Wiltshire Police are asking residents to be extra vigilant following a spate of fraud reports in Chippenham.

It’s alleged that a man pretending to be a Detective Constable phoned a number of people telling them that their bank accounts had been hacked and they must withdraw a large sum of money, which would be collected by a messenger later in the day.

Police received reports of this alleged fraudulent activity yesterday and today.

On one of these occasions, a messenger did attend an address in the Chippenham town centre area where he collected a large sum of money from a resident who had withdrawn the money earlier that day.

The suspect is described as Asian, with dreadlocks, wearing a black jacket, navy tracksuit bottoms with paint splashed on the back of them.

It is not clear if he had a vehicle with him, but enquiries are ongoing to identify this man.

On other occasions, police have been alerted by the banks who have had suspicions about transactions being attempted in store.

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson said: “These types of incidents are really upsetting for the victims. We continue to work extremely closely with banks and the Banking Protocol has been crucial in preventing people from withdrawing large sums of money for these criminals and falling victim to such scams.

“These criminals will often target the elderly or vulnerable people – we would urge anyone reading this to ensure their elderly neighbours, relatives and friends are aware of this scam and what they should do should they be targeted.

“A police officer would never call you and ask for money to be withdrawn or handed over.”

If anyone does receive a call of this nature, police would urge you to hang up immediately and report your concerns to Action Fraud or Wiltshire Police via 101.