A warning has gone out after a man posing as a police officer conned at least two Bolton pensioners out of thousands of pounds.

So far, people in their 70s and 80s have been targeted in Westhoughton, Horwich and Little Lever by a man phoning them from a withheld number, claiming to be a police officer and encouraging them to withdraw money from their bank as part of an apparent 'fraud investigation.'

The first five cases happened between Monday, April 4 and Thursday, April 14-  with a further five between Friday, May 27 May and Wednesday, June 15 with at least two victims handing over more than £6000 to a man said to be wearing a hoody and tracksuit bottoms.

Detective Sergeant Robert Parker, of GMP’s Bolton district, said: "We want to make local people aware again of a further five incidents that have so far been brought to our attention about a man purporting a police officer from GMP and asking for significant amounts of money to be withdrawn.

"Impersonating a police officer is illegal, but to do this to defraud innocent members of the community is an appalling offence and we are doing what we can to conduct several lines of enquiry to catch whoever is responsible for this.”

In each case, the suspected fraudster has claimed to be ‘PC/DC Matthew Philips’ of Greater Manchester Police with a collar number of ‘5772.’

He then told his victims to withdraw between sums between £2,000 and £70,000 which a 'colleague' would pick up.

DS Parker said "I must stress that no police officer would have a reason to be randomly making contact with people and asking them to withdraw money, and if you ever have contact with someone saying they're from the police and you're unsure of their genuineness then do know you are entitled to ask for proof of identity, or can contact 101 if unsure - always call 999 in an emergency."

Anyone with any information has been encouraged to call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.