POLICE have urged the public to be vigilant following a number of incidents of fraud across Barnsley.

Further to guidance issued by police on February 25, they're now aware of at least 15 reported incidents of so-called 'courier fraud' across the region.

In every case, the victims received telephone calls from men purporting to be police officers, who were investigating theft and fraud from their bank account.

The victims were then told to contact their bank but, unbeknown to them, the offender stayed on the line so when they called their ‘bank’ they were still speaking to the conman.

They were then asked to withdraw money from their account so that a detective could come and collect it.

The offender who has shown up at several victims’ homes to collect money is described as black, mid 30s, medium build, 5ft 6ins tall, with short dark hair and clean shaven.

Superintendent Colin McFarlane said: "We're urging the public to be mindful of this scam as it appears to have really increased in the last 24 hours.

"Please discuss this with your family and friends and if you have vulnerable or elderly relatives or neighbours, make them aware that this is happening.

"We need to identify who is behind this scam, so I’d ask anyone with information about this to please get in touch.

"Remember, your bank will never ask for your details over the phone and police officers will never ask you to withdraw money from your account.

"Always ask for identification when someone you do not know comes to your house and try to verify their identity wherever possible by calling the company or business they purport to come from.

"If they say they're a police officer, phone 101 and ask us to check."

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity or with concerns should call police on 101 quoting incident number 529 of February 26.

Alternatively, you can report crime anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.