SCAMMERS are targeting Cotswold residents pretending to be police, Gloucestershire Constabulary have warned.

They are calling landlines and asking people for help with a fake investigation, before telling them to withdraw cash from a bank.

The fraudsters ask their victims to read out the notes’ serial numbers, before claiming they are counterfeit and convincing them to give the money to a ‘courier’ to be destroyed.

Scam attempts have been reported in the Forest of Dean, Stroud, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury in the last 24 hours.

“The fraudsters are convincing and very manipulative,” said Gloucestershire Constabulary on their Facebook page.

“They will try to frighten their victims and tell them not to inform anyone, specifically the bank, giving the excuse that staff are under investigation.

“The victims are told not to inform anybody as they could risk arrest themselves.”

In some cases, the fraudsters have given out the contact details of taxi firms to pick the victim up and take them to their bank, so that they can set up a password for a courier to attend the victim’s home address to collect the money.

The police will never ask you to provide bank card details, withdraw sums of money, or purchase items to be collected.

They have advised anyone who believes they are being targeted by a scammer to hang up the phone and use a different phone line to call Action Fraud or the police.

If you don’t have access to a different phone line, wait for a period of time and try calling a family member or friend first to make sure the scammer is no longer on the line.

Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a fraudulent phone call can report this by calling police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

More advice to help stop you from becoming a victim of fraud can be found on the Gloucestershire Constabulary Facebook page here.