A couple in their 80s have become the latest victims of fraudsters who are causing police increasing alarm.

Officers are now linking five cases in less than a month, in which telephone callers have posed as police in an attempt to trick elderly victims into revealing their banks details.

On Sunday a couple from Buckhurst Hill had a three figure sum of cash stolen from their bank accounts after receiving a call from a man claiming to be a Metropolitan Police officer based at Limehouse.

He told them that their bank account had been infiltrated, and that two officers would call at the couple’s home to collect their bank cards.

When the men arrived, they also tricked the couple into handing over a gold watch, claiming that it could be used as part of the investigation.

An identical story was told to a couple in Chigwell on February 16, and police are connecting the episodes to similar incidents at Chigwell, where a courier also arrived to collect cards, and also in Willingale where a victim gave bank account details over the phone to a fake police officer.

Sergeant Russell Welch, of Essex Polices said: “This appalling fraud against elderly and vulnerable people is also happening within the Met Police area and is clearly spreading into Essex.

“It is absolutely vital that any calls about bank details by people claiming to police officers are treated with utmost caution. Victims should refuse to give any details and call Essex Police on 999 immediately.

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