Police investigating a phone scam have released an image of a Rolex watch signed by a former Russian president in hope of returning it to the victim.

Between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Saturday, October 5, 2013, a man in his 60s, from Watford, was contacted by a man claiming to be a police officer investigating fraudulent activity in his bank account.

The offender convinced the victim to part with his bank cards and Rolex watch (pictured), claiming they were needed as evidence. A man then attended the address and collected the items.

The watch is extremely rare: a former Russian president had signed it and given it to the victim. The back of Rolex has ‘President of Russia’ inscribed on it.

Detective Constable Julie Vint, from Watford Local Crime Unit, said: "This is an extremely rare and unique watch and anyone who knows of its whereabouts, or has been offered it for sale, should contact me straight away.

"Everyone should be aware of phone scams and know that the police and banks would:

• Never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
• Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
• Never ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.

"If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101.

"Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender."

Anyone with information in relation to this incident should contact DC Vint via Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number 101, citing crime reference C1/13/4559. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For further information about phone scams please visit our website: www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.