PEOPLE across the county are being warned to be aware of a devious phone scam where the fraudsters impersonate both police and bank staff.

Residents in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds have been targeted recently in the scam which involves the fraudster phoning a victim, informing them they are a police officer and that their bank card has been cloned and then urging them to put the phone down and immediately call their bank to report it.

The fraudsters then stay on the line so when the victim thinks they have called the bank they are in fact still connected to the criminals.

Another fraudster involved in the scam, now pretending to be from the bank, then encourages the victim to disclose their personal details before "transferring" them back to the fake police officer.

The criminals then arrange for a courier to collect the victim's cards from their address and the fraudster then has everything they need to withdraw thousands from the victim's account.

Kim Mowday, Crime Reduction Advisor, said: "This is extremely cruel and is sadly being used by criminals throughout the country to make thousands of pounds.

"It's happening most often at the weekend because when the criminals get the cards they often have a couple of days to use them before the victims make contact with their bank and realise they have been duped.

"We would simply ask people in our communities to share the following message to everyone they know, particularly if they are vulnerable: The police will NEVER ask you to send any items via courier and the banks will NEVER ask for your personal details, whether that's over the phone or via email.

"If you get a call like this hang up, even disconnect the phone before ringing 101 and reporting the incident."