AN ALERT has been issued after a fake police officer conned residents in Hampshire out of £12,000.

Police say the conman phoned their victims, pretending to be an officer who was investigating a fraud.

They then asked the person to go to their bank and withdraw money to hand over to a courier.

Each time, the victims are told not to trust their bank when anti-fraud checks are being completed.

Police say there have been nine reports of the fraud, between January 6 and January 16.

Two of the victims, a 78 and 80-year-old woman both from Petersfield, handed over around £6,000 each to a courier.

In the other seven instances, offences were identified before the attendance of the courier.

A Hampshire Police spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing and we would like to remind people to be on guard when it comes to fraudsters and remember the following advice.

"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.

"If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it to us by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999."

More information is available on the Action Fraud website.