POLICE have issued a warning for people to be on their guard following reports of attempted courier fraud in Worcestershire.

West Mercia Police say there were several reports of courier fraud attempts on elderly and vulnerable people during a 24 hour period earlier this week, as lockdown began.

Courier fraud is when a fraudster contacts victims by telephone purporting to be a police officer or bank official, in an attempt to con them out of thousands of pounds.

A spokesman for the force said: "Please remember no police officer will ever call and ask for your money or financial details.

"During this period of Lockdown, please be sure to call your elderly friends and family and anyone vulnerable who is maybe not on social media to let them know of this scam.

"Help us to keep vulnerable and elderly people updated on all the fraud scams we issue alerts on and to help keep everyone safe while we all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."

A similar warning was issued last October, when criminals pretended to be police officers and attempted to defraud people in the county.

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After those concerns Detective Inspector Emma Wright said: “This type of fraud targets older, vulnerable people and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation.

“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.

"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 the crime is still in progress, because for example, you have recently provided bank details or handed over cards or cash or are going to visit your bank or the caller has arranged for someone to visit your address to collect items, you should call the police to report this on 101. In an emergency dial 999.

“Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash. If someone does, it's a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up, wait ten minutes then call 101.”