A man in his 80s was tricked out of thousands of pounds in serial codes for gift cards by fraudsters.

The suspects claiming to be from a PPI claims advisory group called the elderly man from Basildon, telling him he was entitled to receive a large PPI payment.

To receive it, they told him he had to buy gift cards.

He then went out and bought thousands of pounds worth on cards.

The victim then scratched off the back of the cards and give the details to them over the phone.

Investigating officer DS Liz Morgan, of Essex’s serious economic crime unit, said: “The victim believed the person he was talking to was a genuine and trustworthy person.

"They were convincing and he honestly believed he was due a payment.

“He followed the instructions given to him, spending a large amount of money on gift cards before reading the details to the crooks on the phone.

“The suspect was calculative and callous.

"The fraudsters don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and once the code is sent, the money is lost.”

If you have any information about bogus callers, call Essex Police on 101 or report information by visiting www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 55 111 or you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.