POLICE have issued a warning after an elderly couple from North Hampshire lost £7,000 in a scam.

The couple, who live in Farnborough and are in their 80s, were contacted over the phone last Sunday by a man who claimed to be a detective from Hammersmith police.

Claiming that he was investigating a money laundering fraud connected to local banks, he asked the couple if they could assist officers.

The fraudster then urged the husband to call another phone number to verify his identity but failed to disconnect the original call. The victim therefore believed he was talking to a police controller and was persuaded the call was genuine before being 'transferred' back to the original suspect.

He then encouraged the couple to visit their local branch and withdraw the large amount of cash. He also advised them to make up a rationale for needing such a large amount of cash in one go.

When they returned home, they were advised they should hand the money to a man sent to collect the package.

The couple lost £7,000 in the scam and now police are asking anyone who may have information with this, or a similar incident, to contact them on 101 and quote reference number 44200330389.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The suspect is described as being a slim male in his 20s with dark brown hair. He was wearing a long black coat.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: "Police officers will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.

"Consider contacting your telephone provider to get a free call-blocking service if you are getting unsolicited calls.

"If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed."

For more information about this and other scams, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.