A WARNING has been issued after fake traffic wardens attempted to steal bank details.

The North Essex Parking Partnership has confirmed it is aware of a scam taking place across Essex.

It comes after Action Fraud said it had received 33 reports across the UK since January of victims being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers and traffic wardens.

A number of these victims have been elderly and vulnerable.

The parking partnership said: "We’re aware of scam in Essex where fake traffic wardens are issuing fake parking tickets to steal bank details.

"Our traffic wardens will never ask for or accept any payments from motorists."

They urged anyone with concerns or who wants to verify their ticket to contact the team directly.

In the cases reported to Action Fraud the victims are being approached while in their car or in a car park and told by the suspect they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for evidence.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee.

They are then directed to a parking metre and asked to enter their card and PIN number.

The cards are then retained by the machine and the fraudsters look over the victim’s shoulder to get their PIN number.

The charity has urged anyone suspicious of the authenticity of the fine to not pay it and verify it with the council.

Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “This is a highly planned fraud that takes advantage of the pressure victims feel to pay the fine, especially by those who are elderly and vulnerable.

“It is important that people shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine.

"We are urging people to be particularly cautious of anyone claiming to be from an official authority. If in doubt, verify the person’s identity with your local council or police force.”