Police have issued a warning to Worcestershire residents after a rise in fraudsters across the county.

Criminals have been pretending to be police officers in an attempt to defraud people and scam them into handing over or transferring money or sharing their PIN information.

The crime, known as courier fraud, has seen a number of elderly and vulnerable people targeted but anyone can be a victim.

A spokesperson for West Mercia Police said: “We would urge everyone to pass on the information about bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who might be at risk to such scams.

“Always remember that no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to hand over money or transfer funds, regardless of their name or unit. I would like to reassure the community that we are investigating these crimes and want to hear from anyone who has been contacted in this way.

“This scam can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don't be pressured. Give yourself time to stop and think.”

If residents have recently provided bank details to a caller, handed over money or arranged for someone to visit their address to collect items including cards, they should call the police on 999.

For more information visit www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/