POLICE are stepping up warnings to vulnerable and elderly people in Bromsgrove after revealing phone scammers are 'heavily targeting' residents in the town.

The Advertiser reported online last week that instances of con artists pretending to be police officers on the phone to residents were on the rise in a crime known as 'courier fraud'.

Chief Inspector Ed Hancox, of West Mercia Police, said on Thursday that there had been a number of attempted phone cons in Bromsgrove during the previous 24 hours.

"Fraudsters are targeting elderly and vulnerable people by phone to try to steal their money claiming they are the police. They aren't, its a scam," CI Hancox said.

"The police will never phone and ask you to transfer money, take out cash or ask for your bank/card details."

Inspector Lee Page added: "We are seeing Bromsgrove being heavily targeted over recent days.

"Please share [CI Hancox's] advice with elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they do not fall victim to these cruel scammers."

Fraudsters are said to be contacting unsuspecting people by phone and claiming to be police officers investigating bank card fraud.

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.

"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 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."