ELDERLY people in the Black Country are being urged to be wary after a spate of distraction burglaries.

A pensioner in Upper Gornal is among victims of hoaxers who call at their home and ask for change from a pound coin for a phone call.

People who are targeted have often just returned from the bank or post office and police are recommending potential victims take extra care.

Detective Inspector Ben West, from West Midlands Police CID, said: "This type of offence is extremely worrying as they are targeting the more vulnerable members of our communities.

"The victim will naturally try to help when asked for change and often allows the offender access to their home, and while they are distracted will find that their cash or valuables have been taken.

"In several of the incidents the offender is described as Asian or Eastern European, five feet to five-feet-two, in her 40s and of stocky build with long dark hair. A number of victims have also reported that the offender had gold teeth.

"We are urging residents to be wary of callers at the door or anyone approaching them in the street. Purses and wallets should be kept out of sight in a closed bag or inside pocket when out and about.

"We would also ask people to keep a close eye on their elderly neighbours during the warmer weather when doors and windows are often left open."

Anyone with information should call officers on 101 or alternatively information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.