A SCAM warning has been issued after an elderly couple were duped by con artists pretending to be from BT.

The retired pair, who live on the Birch Glen estate in Berechurch, Colchester, were contacted on the phone on Saturday by someone saying they needed to pay their bill.

They handed over card details but realised they may have made a mistake.

BT later confirmed the call was nothing to do with them.

The couple informed their friend and councillor Dave Harris (Lab) who has now issued a warning to other people who may fall prey to scammers.

“They got the call out of the blue – they are with BT so it was fairly credible,” he said.

“Unfortunately, they gave out their card details when they were on the phone.

“Almost immediately afterwards they realised they shouldn’t have done so, checked in with BT and were told it was nothing to do with them.

“They then called the bank and have blocked the card.”

The couple are still waiting to find out whether they have lost any cash.

Mr Harris urged people to join their Neighbourhood Watch groups to keep up to date on crime trends and for advice on preventing fraud.

“Do not give out any details unless you are sure,” he said.

“It is pretty unlikely companies will call you without warning about a payment.

“If you are not sure then don’t pay. Speak to a family member or someone you trust to see whether they think it is legitimate.

“We are all guilty of being too trusting at times.

“By all accounts, these people sounded extremely legitimate on the phone and were convincing.

“It was only afterwards it turned out to be sounding posing as being from BT.”

Mr Harris said he was disgusted the crooks would stoop so low.

He added: “These people are criminals.

“To target ordinary people is one thing, but to try to get at elderly or vulnerable people who have next to nothing is something else.

“They are reprehensible.”

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud should report it to Essex Police on 101.