Police are warning people not to be caught by bogus officers after a flurry of reports of a fraudster posing as an officer for money.

A Chigwell woman in her 80s told police on Tuesday morning that a man claiming to be a Detective Chief Inspector Charlston had called her home and asked for her bank details, telling her she had been a victim of fraud.

He then said he needed to see her bank cards and would send a courier to collect them. A man later turned up and took the woman’s cards, which can be used to access her savings.

It is not yet known how much was taken.

There were reports of two similar incidents on Monday, when a man giving the fake name Sergeant James Hackett called at least two people trying to get bank details.

Inspector Paul Wells said: "It is absolutely vital that people are on their guard if they receive a call of this kind.

“Genuine police officers will never ask for bank details over the telephone.

“It is possible that one man or a group of criminals working together is using different names and different stories to trick the elderly or vulnerable.”