A pair of con artists posed as plain clothes police officers and tricked a driver into paying a £400 "coronavirus fine".

Wiltshire Police said the male victim had been driving along Hardenhuish Lane, Chippenham on Wednesday when a black BMW tailing him flashed its headlights and the driver indicated to him to pull over.

The man was told by the two occupants of the BMW, a man and woman, they were undercover police officers. They said he had to pay a £400 fine for being outside, which he did.

PC Jamie Darvill said: “Undercover police officers would not be conducting these kinds of patrols or vehicle stops.

“Any vehicle stops conducted by officers in relation to Covid-19 restrictions will be high visibility, and fines will be issued as a last resort. Members of the public are also within their rights to ask to see a police officer’s warrant card if they have any concerns about their identity.

“It is extremely disappointing to hear that anyone would use this current pandemic as an opportunity to scam people out of money, especially when many people are feeling anxious and uncertain, and some may be struggling financially."

The coronavirus regulations set fines for breaching movement restrictions at £60 in the first instance, although the penalties can be higher for repeat offenders.