CRUEL fraudsters posed as police officers to con an elderly woman out of nearly £16,000 in an elaborate courier fraud.

The victim, who is 80, received a call on her landline on Tuesday from someone pretending to be an officer investigating fraudulent activity on her account.

They asked her to withdraw £3,000 and call them back with the serial numbers of the notes.

After the woman made the withdrawal from a cash machine in Colchester High Street, she was told the numbers meant there was a problem and asked to bring the money to a police station in Hammersmith, or they could send a courier.

A man then arrived at her Colchester home posing as the courier and took the cash from her, as well as other money she had in the house, cards and pin numbers leaving her just £60 for shopping.

Over the next day, transactions were made at cash machines in London leaving the victim nearly £16,000 out of pocket.

Fortunately, some money has been recovered by the banks.

The victim’s granddaughter Carla Barron, 28, said she was horrified.

“I am just disgusted,” she said.

“I just keep thinking ‘Why could you have not done this to me?’

“She is already terrified about going out because of coronavirus and this is going to make it so much worse.

“Why target somebody so vulnerable?

“I just want everyone to know police or your bank will never ask you for your pin number or withdraw any money.

“They called her and call her a surname she has not used for years so I can only think it had come from the depths of the internet somewhere.

“Then, after that, they were so genuine with her and kept calling back to offer her support with the investigation.

“They even said she should not mention it to her bank because they were under investigation too and kept mentioning there would be a raid.

“For them to leave her £60 of her own money and ask like they are being kind is disgraceful.

“It was soon after they had taken the money she told my mum and then the police.”