POLICE in South Wales are warning the public to be cautious and vigilant, after a number of people have reported being contacted by someone impersonating a police officer.

The perpetrator is believed to have concocted an elaborate backstory, in an attempt to get their victims to hand over significant amounts of money.

South Wales Police received at least eight reports of calls of this nature in Cardiff in the last week, while similar reports have been made by Vale of Glamorgan residents on an almost daily basis.

In some of the instances, the victims were told their cards had been cloned or they had been victim of fraud, and they were asked to provide their bank details.

During other calls, the victims were told a family member had been arrested, while others were told to visit cashpoints and draw out thousands of pounds to hand over to a ‘courier’ who would collect the money from their home.

In all of the cases, the person calling claimed to be a detective and was so convincing that some of those contacted handed over the money or bank details requested.

Detective inspector Paul Raikes, said: “These scammers are extremely persuasive and convincing and are often very successful in duping people in to handing over substantial amounts of money.

“Many of this week’s victims have been elderly, but the truth is anyone can be targeted by these scammers and I’d urge everyone to be on their guard and to talk to their friends and loved ones about the scams. The more awareness there is of them, the less successful these fraudsters will be.

"Anything suspicious should be reported to us immediately.”

Anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to a scammer should report it via 101, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.