Herts police has prevented the county's residents from losing £472,000 in fraud after multiple calls last month.

The force received 23 calls in January which helped stop the offences, including one case when a 74-year-old from Stevenage was attempting to hand over £23,000 to rogue traders, before the Banking Protocol triggered the banks and police to respond.

Other prevented cases included a 77-year-old from Hemel Hempstead who had fallen prey to an investment scam and was attempting to transfer £10,000 to fraudsters, while an 83-year-old from Welwyn Garden City was stopped from sending £5,000 to fraudsters in an impersonation scam.

"Fraudsters will often try to scam potential victims by persuading them to withdraw large sums of cash from their local bank branch and hand it over to them," said Hertfordshire Constabulary’s fraud triage manager, Julian Griffiths.

"This is because they know that once they have the cash it can be difficult to trace and return it.

"These scams can involve anything from rogue builders offering to do bogus work on your driveway to sophisticated fraudsters claiming that your bank account has been compromised and must be emptied to stop your money being stolen.

"However, what all these scams have in common is that they tend to target the most vulnerable in our society, including elderly victims who are particularly at risk.

"If you are questioned by bank staff, please do not take offence. This is part of scheme designed to protect you and your money from fraudsters."

Since April 1, 2023, Hertfordshire Police has responded to 243 calls for assistance made under the Banking Protocol scheme, which has prevented loss of £1.1million from fraud.

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or www.herts.police.uk/protectyourmoney for advice on avoiding scams.