POLICE have issued a warning over a scam that has cost victims almost £50,000 in savings.

Several people in the county have been victim to "appalling" impersonator fraud scams in the lost month, it has been revealed.

The scammers, who posed as police officers, told victims that the money in their savings account was corrupt and that they needed to send money or gold.

On Tuesday, police received a report that an elderly couple in Chichester had been contacted by someone claiming to be from Hammersmith Police on March 25.

The victims purchased £24,000 of gold bars and gave them to a man who attended their address claiming to be from Scotland Yard.

After not hearing from the suspects, they contacted Sussex Police and an investigation is now underway.

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Another similar case was reported in Chichester on March 25 where the victim lost £5,000 of their savings to a fraudster purporting to be an officer for the Metropolitan Police.

PC Laura Marmolejo said: "We are urging people to be vigilant if they receive an unsolicited phone call from someone talking about finances.

"There are steps you can take to ensure the person calling is who they say they are. If you’re in doubt, hang up the phone and talk to a trusted family member or friend before making any decisions about your finances.

"People who are genuinely from organisations such as the police will not make you ask you for funds or financial details.

"These are absolutely appalling crimes that exploit victims’ trust and can have a devastating effect on their lives. We are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

"Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to report it to us online or by calling 101.”