A MAN posing as a “detective” allegedly conned a pensioner out of thousands of pounds.

Police are hunting the man, who is suspected of carrying out the large cash fraud.

A Lawn woman, who is in her eighties, was phoned on Tuesday, September 19, by a man claiming to be “Detective Smyth”.

The man said he was investigating a gang who had been using the woman’s bank card.

She was asked to stay on the line until she heard a buzz, when she was told to dial 161 to be put through to the Serious Fraud Office.

“Detective Smyth” then asked her to go to her bank and building society, where she should withdraw £9,000 in cash so his officers could fingerprint the money.

Police say the man was so convincing the pensioner immediately went to withdraw £5,500 in cash. She claimed the money was for a new car and home improvements.

The same day a man – calling himself “Mochin” – visited the woman and took away the cash in a sack.

Police want to speak to this man, who is described as having light tanned skin, around 5ft 8inches tall and of average build. He is in his late 20s or early 30s and was wearing a black anorak and black headgear. The sack was marked with orange banding.

PC Jack Newman said: "We would like to speak to anyone who recognises this man or may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the Lawn area on this date.

"I'd like to remind the public to be cautious when receiving calls from anyone - including the police. We will never ask for bank details over the phone, nor will we ask for passwords or your PIN. Always be wary when asked to withdraw large sums of money.

"This is commonly known as courier fraud and is a ‘social engineering’ scam designed to trick you - using elaborate and highly convincing methods to panic a victim and exploit human nature.

"If the caller claims they are a police officer or police staff, ring the police on 101 and check the details first. Take time to check as it could save you losing money or having your identity stolen."

Action Fraud recommend that if someone asks for personal details over the phone, you take the following steps.

First, call your bank using the number listed on the back of your bank card or statement.

Do not confirm or provide personal details, such as bank account numbers, over the phone to someone who has called you.

Call a friend after the fraudulent call, to make sure that the fraudster has not kept the phone line “open”.

Never dial a number given by the caller.

If you receive what you believe to be a fraudulent call, you should record as much detail as possible and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the online reporting tool www.actionfraud.police.uk.

To report any information about the Lawn cash fraud, call Wiltshire Police on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.