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AN elderly man has been tricked out of thousands of pounds after being targeted by a scam.

The 83-year-old, from Lee-on-the-Solent, was persuaded to hand over bank cards in what police described as a “despicable crime”.

He was called by a man who said he was from the Southampton Police Fraud Department, which does not exist.

This man told the victim that there appeared to be a problem with bank accounts and that he would be sending a courier to the address to collect all of his bank cards relating to the accounts, along with any associated PINs.

Later that day, last Saturday, at around 3pm, a man attended the address of the victim in Avon Close and collected the cards which had been placed in an envelope by the victim.

The victim then became suspicious and intended calling his banks, however before he could do so, he had a further telephone call from another man claiming to be from Natwest Bank.

This man advised the victim that they had received the cards and would return them the next day, putting the victim at ease.

But four withdrawals were then made from cash machines totalling £1,050 and seven credit card transactions were made totalling £1,642.84.

Detective Constable Christopher Davies said: “I am appealing for members of the community to spread the word about this sort of scam, especially to any elderly or vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours.

“If anyone believes they may have fallen victim to this sort of crime and have not yet reported it to the police, I would urge them to get in touch with us straight away.”

Anyone with any information can call DC Davies at Fareham police station on 101 or leave information anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.