Bogus bank officials have stolen thousands of pounds by tricking people into handing over their personal identification number (PIN).

Now, police are warning the public never to give their PIN out, no matter how convincing the person asking may seem.

Scammers have been stealing victims’ wallets and purses from places such as staff rooms, health centres and care homes.

Armed with all the information from the stolen cards, the fraudsters call the victim at their place of work pretending to be from their bank, and claiming that they have been a victim of theft.

They go on to inform the victim that they believe someone is attempting to use their bank card and that in order to cancel the card, they require a number of security details, among them a request for the victim’s PIN. To report a fraud call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.