'WE need to take that money out of your account and lock your pin numbers.'

This comment was part of an attempted phone fraud which is being used against people in Somerset.

A recording of a scam call has been released by Avon and Somerset Police in a bid to alert people to the scams, being employed across the area.

Victims, mostly elderly, have been contacted at home through their landline, with fraudsters persuading them to withdraw cash after being told their bank details have been used to make purchases in London.

The scammers have then collected the money, claiming it is needed as “evidence”.

Officers are working with local banks to raise awareness and enquiries continue.

The recorded incident involved a woman in her seventies from Bath, but there have been reports of similar incidents in areas including Bridgwater, Chard, Clevedon and Taunton.

In February the lady was contacted over the phone by a man claiming to be a police officer from London. He persuaded her that she’d been given fake bank notes which were collected from her.

The bogus police officer said she shouldn’t speak to anyone about the case, claiming it could “compromise the investigation”. Thankfully the lady did tell her daughter and the family recorded a further call from the conman. The audio has been edited to protect her identity.

During the conversation he tries to convince the lady that her other accounts are also at risk. When he realised that she had rumbled the scam he became abusive before hanging up.

Officers are also issuing a CCTV image from London of a man they would like to identify.

This is The West Country:

DC Ashley Lockton said: “We’d like to hear from anyone who recognises the man in the recording or the CCTV images – but we also want people to talk to their vulnerable elderly relatives and friends about this type of scam.

“It’s important to remember that police and bank staff will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money or hand over cash, your card or your PIN. We would also want you to have the support of your family in this sort of case, rather than asking you not to tell them.”

“These fraudsters can be very convincing but please don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they say they’re a police officer or from your bank. Genuine callers will be happy to make an appointment for you to visit them at a branch or police station.”

Anyone who gets this sort of call should hang up immediately and allow 10 minutes for the line to clear before trying to make another call, police said.

There’s lots of information about fraudsters and scams at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

If you think you have been defrauded you can report it by calling 0300 123 2050 or online via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

If you have any information which could help the police investigation, please get in touch through www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact, or by calling 101, quoting reference 5219043957.