RESIDENTS were swindled out of thousands of pounds after being targeted by fraudsters posing as plumbers.

Crooks pretending to be from national company Dyno-Rod have demanded cash from nine unsuspecting residents in the last two weeks.

They tricked victims from Brighton, Hove and Worthing by saying that emergency work was required on tree roots causing damage to sewers, and a cash deposit was needed to hire the required equipment.

In some cases, no money was handed over, but in many others the fraudsters left with large sums.

On June 3 a woman in Hove received a phone call asking for payment. A man came round shortly after to collect her card and £250 was withdrawn.

The following day a Worthing man handed over £450 to a man who told him money was required to fix a drainage issue.

Then on June 6 a disabled woman in Worthing handed over her card and PIN to pay for what the fraudsters claimed was the “deposit of the equipment”.

A total of £1,800 was taken from the account before the card was stopped.

Sussex Police are now urging residents to remain vigilant to bogus phone calls and visitors.

PC Bernadette Lawrie, the Sussex Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer said: “Remember that no police officer, or bank staff on the phone, will ever ask for your bank details or for cash.

“Don’t give your details or cash to anyone in these circumstances.”