POLICE are hunting fraudsters who masterminded a sophisticated £10,000 bank scam in Prestwich.

Detectives and specialist finance investigators have spent more than a year probing the crime, and are now appealing for the public’s help.

About 18 months ago, a group of men went into a high street building society armed with false documents.

They used the information to obtain a £90,000 mortgage and staff transferred the money into an account held with Barclays.

On June 27, 2013, two men went into the Prestwich branch of Barclays, in Bury New Road, and withdrew £10,000 in cash.

Moments after allowing the withdrawal, staff from the bank became suspicious. They contacted police and froze the account, meaning no further cash could be withdrawn.

Now, police have issued a picture of one of the men, taken from the bank’s CCTV system.

Detective Inspector David Sinclair said: “This was a sophisticated and complex fraud. We are very keen to speak to the man pictured about his involvement in the crime and if you think you recognise him I urge you to contact police on the numbers listed below.

"It is not easy to con a bank into releasing mortgage funds, so there is a strong chance this man may perpetrate similar offences in the future.”

A source close to the investigation said: “There is always the concern that revealing more details can hinder the search for those involved and banks tend to be secretive about how their systems operate.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.