Police are urging people to be vigilant following reports of fraudsters purporting to be police officers.
In recent weeks, officers have received several reports of fraudsters calling people on the phone pretending they are a police officer, or from the call taker’s bank.
The conmen then go on to tell the person to withdraw money from their bank account which will then be collected by a courier.
In some instances, they have even asked the victim to package the money up and send it by recorded delivery, or to send the money by bank transfer.
Some have also obtained the victim’s debit card details and personal account details.
A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We want to remind people that the police or other reputable organisations will never ask you to withdraw cash, nor will they ever ask you for your bank account details. They will also never ask you to confirm personal details over the phone.
“If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, please end the call and contact a family member or a trusted individual or the police for advice.
“Sadly, these fraudsters can be very convincing and often target the elderly or the vulnerable.
“Therefore, we’d urge people to share this important message with their parents and grandparents – we all have a role to play in protecting the vulnerable.”
You can report fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or online at actionfraud.police.uk or call Durham Constabulary on 101.
Always call 999 in an emergency.