Police say the shocking tally of almost 600 per year could be just the tip of the iceberg as it is feared there are many more vulnerable victims who are too afraid to come forward.
Branded "career criminals" who prey on elderly people, bogus callers are now the focus of a police crackdown.
Strathclyde Police this week launched Operation Shield in a bid to curb the number of victims of these bogus callers and raise awareness of how elderly people can safeguard against becoming a victim.
Officers have teamed up with the Ochil House Sheltered Housing Group in Wishaw, which is already leading the way with a community-led campaign – and it is hoped other community groups will follow suit.
Superintendent Grahame Clarke from Safer Communities said: "In the past 12 months, Strathclyde Police has had nearly 592 reported cases of bogus callers throughout the force area.
"Normal, law-abiding people cannot comprehend how anyone would target some of the most vulnerable members of the community who are often the victims.
"The campaign aims to reduce the number of victims using a targeted and co-ordinated approach.
"Make no doubt, these people are career criminals who prey on vulnerable, elderly victims. They are despicable and will stop at nothing. In fact, they go out of their way to find vulnerable victims. Our campaign message is clear: not everyone is who they appear to be."
Superintendent Clarke believes there could be more victims than the 592 reported in the past year of which nearly 30% were detected.
He added: "Sometimes victims are too afraid, ashamed or embarrassed to come forward. It is possible there could be many more.
"We want to ensure that vulnerable people, pensioners in particular, have the confidence to tell us as they may just prevent someone else becoming a victim."
The campaign will run for three weeks and feature posters on buses, in underground stations and as radio adverts.
Working with care providers Cordia in Glasgow, they will be able to reach the homes of 8000 elderly and vulnerable people, who will also be given a sticker to put on their front door to remind them of questions to ask should someone come to their door who they think could be a bogus caller.
Superintendent Clarke said the conmen have gone further than simply telling people they need repairs carried out. Scare tactics are often used, such as telling victims they have a utility problem or roof damage in order to gain their trust and get into their houses where they steal from them.
He added: "It is a whole lot wider than just bogus callers and can involve lottery scams, insurance or bank card fraud or even people being driven to the bank to take cash out.
"These criminals are very sophisticated and often look out for telltale signs that an elderly person may live there.
"We need to make sure people are vigilant and careful about who they let into their home.
"Not everyone is who they seem to be. Our advice is to remember to check the ID of people coming to the door and not giving personal details over the phone or to people calling around.
"Bank staff would never ask for a pin number or send someone to a house to collect a bank card
"The campaign will reinforce the work we are already doing across the force and help people feel more confident in dealing with people they do not know when they come knocking on their doors."
Early warning system bid to thwart rogues
RESIDENTS at a sheltered housing complex in North Lanarkshire are taking steps to ensure they don't become a bogus caller's next victim.
Cold callers at the Ochil House development in Wishaw are more likely to given the cold shoulder.
Residents have been working to ensure that their community knows the risks.
An early warning system has been introduced to protect against the threat of bogus callers.
Duncan Miller, secretary of the tenants group, said: "We have been making sure there are posters, flyers, stickers and sign which make it clear what a resident should do if they suspect a bogus caller in the area.
"It is about changing attitudes but it could help them prevent becoming a victim."
The tenants group links in with similar associations in North Lanarkshire to pass on information and start an early warning system.
One resident Frank Douglas, 79, said: "We have been made aware how people operate and we know the signs to look for. It's good that police are raising awareness."
Key steps to stay safe
l Use the door viewer when answering the door.
l Check identification badges of anyone calling at your door.
l If you don't know the person who is calling, and you're not expecting them, don't let them in.
l If you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
l Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
l Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
l Don't keep large amounts of money in your home.