A police probe is under way into a scam in which bogus police officers targeted at least 15 victims in Sheffield and Rotherham.
Operation Siberia was launched after at least 15 victims received telephone calls from someone claiming to be a detective from New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police or another force outside of South Yorkshire and claiming to be investigating fraud in Rotherham.
The caller claimed that a bank card had been used fraudulently and asked the victim to contact another number to provide their bank details.
Detective Sergeant Rob Cobley, who is investigating the cases, which are believed to be linked, said: “Although it is easily done and I don’t want to criticise people for being trustworthy, I can’t stress enough how important it is not to give out personal details over the phone.
“Police officers will never ask for personal financial details and banks will never do this over the phone.
“If you have any elderly or vulnerable relatives, please do speak to them about fraud and remind them not to give their details out.”
DS Cobley said that of the 15 incidents, 13 were reported in Rotherham and two in Sheffield.
On four occasions, victims went to their banks to withdraw money, with one conned out of £12,000.
DS Cobley added: “If you, or if someone you know has received a similar call, please let us know so we can gather as much evidence as possible to bring the offenders to justice.
“Fraud is a cowardly and calculated crime and no-one should be taken advantage of and be made to feel so vulnerable.
“I’d hate to think that more people could fall victim to fraud so please share our advice far and wide.”
Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote Operation Siberia.
Action Fraud can also be contacted on 0300 123 2040.