A WARNING has been issued after an increased number of reports across the region of elderly victims being targeted by fake police officers and traffic wardens.

Action Fraud say victims are being approached while they are parked in their car and told by the suspect they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit.

The scammer also says a photo has been taken of their car for 'evidence'.

The driver is then told they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately.

Victims who opt for paying the smaller penalty will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN.

An Action Fraud spokesman added: "These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

"Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect.

"Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank."

How you can avoid being scammed

Advice from Action Fraud is to always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine and never share your PIN with anyone.

A spokesman added: "If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.

"If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them."