Four people have appeared in court over a telephone scam targeting elderly people.

Five people face deception charges over the racket, which involved offenders claiming to be from power companies and banks, and threatening to disconnect power if payment wasn't made immediately.

A police spokeswoman says four of the five have had their first court appearance, but none are in custody. They appeared in Christchurch District Court.

A 22-year-old man, and two women aged 29 and 30 are among those who've been charged.

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Police are not revealing the age or gender of the other two offenders for privacy reasons.