ELDERLY victims from Weymouth are 'devastated' after being conned out of thousands of pounds.

Police say they are doing 'everything they can' to track down the conmen who duped one pensioner in his 80s from the Chapelhay area out of £26,000.

The man received a phone call last Friday (Apr 4) from a conman claiming to be a police officer with the Metropolitan Police.

The conman told the victim that money had been drawn out of his account and replaced by counterfeit cash.

The victim was advised to call 999 to verify the caller's details, which he did - however it is believed he was still speaking to the fraudsters.

He was persuaded to hand over the cash to a courier who was innocently sent to his address.

On Monday (apr 7), an elderly couple from Westham were conned in to handing over £12,000.

A fraudster claiming to be from the police said their account had been comprised and they needed to hand over the money.

Detective Sargeant Andrew Marsh of Weymouth CID called it a 'horrible, callous and disgusting' crime.

He added: “We have had a number of reports of these calls in the last few days.

“Luckily most of those who have taken the calls have told them to go away.

“Unfortunately the offenders are happy to just keep making these calls.

“The victims who have been conned are devastated that they have been targeted. They are honest people, they believe what is being asked of them and unfortunately they are being totally deceived.”

Local taxi firms are being duped in to couriering the money to the fraudsters in London.

DS Marsh said: “The taxi firms are innocent of any crime. The fraudster gives a story to the taxi company about what they are doing.

“The taxi company has got no reason to question it.”

Weyline is helping police with their investigation after a fraudster instructed the firm for one of the journeys.

The story fraudsters are giving is that the package is books for a student.

Managing director Ian Ferguson said: “This is a heinous, disgusting and despicable crime.

“We need everybody to get on this now and stop it from happening again.

“The only way it's going to be prevented is if people get the message out there.

“We need everybody to talk about this and if you know anybody who could be a target make sure they are aware of this.”

Borough councillor Geoff Petherick, briefholder for Community Safety, said: “My sympathies go out to the victims. It must have been a terrible shock.

“The police are becoming more and more successful in taking down these criminals and put them in prison.”

He added: “Many years ago I was involved in a high-tech crime unit and some of the scams these fraudsters use are very, very clever.

“I would warn residents to always be on your guard. If it's something you don't recognise or understand or it's out of the ordinary, watch out.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident numbers 08:189 and 07:394.

PANEL · Do not reveal your bank details including PIN to anyone - banks will already have these details and will never ask for your card back.

· If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from your bank, do not give them any details, hang up and call your bank on their regular contact telephone number and the police - using a different telephone and phone line.

· Do not give your bank cards to strangers whatever reason they may give you to part with them.

· Do not allow inside your home any unknown or unexpected callers. If you are suspicious call 999 immediately.

· Do not hand over any cash to people unknown to you.