Some offences have involved criminals posing as officers from the Metropolitan Police.

The confused victim dials the number given not realising that the offender has not cleared the line and gives them the account details, including personal identification numbers (Pins).

In some cases the offenders have sent round “couriers” to collect the bank cards and take them into safe keeping. They then withdraw cash from the victim’s account.

The couriers may be the offenders or unwitting taxi drivers booked to collect the cards.

Incidents have been reported across the country, but the West Midlands has been hit particularly hard in recent weeks.

Warwickshire Police are urging individuals to be vigilant, and not to be taken in by this scam.

A spokesperson said: “Banks and police officers will never ask for account details or Pins over the phone, and would not come round to the house to collect your cards or property.

“If you do get such a call, hang up immediately and dial 999 using another phone.”

If you have already been taken in by this scam, or know someone who has, make sure the cards are cancelled and contact the police on 101 or Crime-stoppers on 0800 555111.