SHROPSHIRE residents are being warned that criminals are pretending to be police officers and attempting to defraud people.

West Mercia Police (WMP) has reminded residents that they will never ask for money to be transferred or for vouchers to be purchased.

People are urged to take their time to stop and think if they believe someone may be trying to scam them.

Chief Inspector Mark Reilly wants residents to make sure they do not provide any personal details to people claiming to be a police officer over the phone.

He said: “Fraudsters traditionally target older, more vulnerable people however anyone can be a target.

“They can often be incredibly convincing giving you no reason to think they aren’t genuine.

“However, I want people to be aware that police will never ask you to handover or transfer money, for whatever reason.

“If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer you should hang up immediately.

“Fraudsters scams can be very elaborate, very convincing and very cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, don't be pressured and 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 999.”