COURIER fraud is on the rise in Herefordshire again as scam callers target elderly and vulnerable residents, West Mercia Police say.

Officers have been made aware of a number of scam callers pretending to police officers in a bid to defraud residents. It follows a drop in cases since a "significant spike" last year.

Courier fraud is when fraudsters telephone a potential victim and often claim to be from their bank or the police.

They then trick the person into revealing their PIN and agreeing to hand over their debit or credit card in order to access funds.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, from West Mercia Police, said “Following a significant spike in courier fraud offences at the end of last year, we saw a marked drop in these cases; likely due to a number of arrests and also as a result of strong messages to advise the public on how to avoid these scams.

"Unfortunately, over the past few days in Herefordshire we have started to see a re-emergence of offences, where suspects are contacting elderly, vulnerable people via the telephone.

"They pretend to be from the police or their bank, in a bid to get them to divulge bank details or to hand over cash.

"It is particularly important that at the moment, where many elderly people may be self-isolating due to coronavirus concerns, that we all remain vigilant to such frauds.

“The message is simple – the police or your bank will never ask you to hand over or transfer cash or valuables.

"Any such request is a scam.

"Do not reveal any bank details, put down the phone and wait 10 minutes to ensure the line has disconnected. Following this report the matter to the police on 101 or via Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040."

“Please continue to share this message with elderly friends, neighbours and relatives in Herefordshire, particularly at present, when they may be feeling isolated and could be particularly susceptible to scams.”