A charity providing free legal and financial advice is warning residents to be vigilant about scams.

In the last two months, fraudsters posing as police officers and bank officials have targeted victims, mostly elderly or vulnerable, in the Maldon district.

So far, they have got away with £14,000 from one Maldon pensioner, £1,800 from another, and £10,000 from a South Woodham Ferrers woman.

Tim Lornie, social policy campaigner at Maldon Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), said: “This is a truly terrible case. It demonstrates just how important it is that we report more scams - we can all do our bit to help prevent this sort of thing from happening again.”

The CAB is advising residents to be aware of the many scams that are about, including dodgy online adverts, tricksters using dating websites to build relationships with people they later defraud, ‘phishing’ emails and ‘vishing’ phone calls designed to con people into giving away sensitive information, investment scams, and advanced fees requested to claim unexpected lottery wins.