Police are warning people in West Yorkshire to protect their personal banking details after several people lost thousands of pounds in a scam.

The victims were contacted on their landlines or mobile phones by fraudsters pretending to be from the police or the fraud department of their bank.

The scammers told the victims that fraudulent activity had been identified on their accounts and said they would send someone to their address to pick up their card and PIN number.

The cards were then used to buy gold jewellery in Huddersfield, Bradford and Manchester. One victim, from Bradford, also had a £40,000 loan taken out in their name.

Police have issued descriptions of two Asian men, who called at a Bradford address to collect banking details.

One is described as being about 5ft 10ins tall and of slim build. He is believed to be in his early 30s and was smartly dressed and clean shaven, with short, dark spikey hair.

The second man is believed to be aged between 30 and 35. He was of medium build with a fair complexion and had chin-length long dark hair, cut in a bob.

PC Toni Hinnells, from Bradford CID, said: “The police or banking staff would never ask someone for their banking details or call someone to speak about suspected fraudulent activity on their bank account.

“If you receive one of these calls and you’re still not sure whether it’s genuine, put the phone down and contact your bank separately. They should be able to confirm if they are aware of any suspected fraud with your account.

“I would advise people not to disclose their personal details online and to make sure that any personal banking documentation is shredded before being thrown away.

“I would also advise them to report any of these calls, or similar, to Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.

“If you’re still not sure, you can contact the police for advice on (01274) 376562 between 8am and 3pm Monday to Friday, or call 101 at any time and we will get back to you.”