CHESHIRE Police has issued an urgent warning to residents following an increase in reports of fraudulent calls from scammers claiming to be police and targeting the vulnerable and elderly.

Recently the force has seen a number of reports of fraud where organised crime groups are calling victims purporting to be from the police.

Typically on answering the call, an automated message is played, telling victims that a warrant is out for their arrest or that a loved one has been apprehended.

The scammer then asks the victim to press a number where they speak to a fraudster, who will then confirm the victim's details and demand the transfer of money from their bank to clear their name or free their loved one.

Officers are now urging others to stay vigilant and alert vulnerable family members or neighbours of this scam.

Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques from Cheshire Constabulary's Economic Crime Unit said the scams could be particularly convincing to vulnerable people.

"Fraudsters are extremely convincing and can be very threatening especially towards the vulnerable," he said.

"Police officers will never ask you to transfer money or provide personal details over the phone to 'clear your name' or to free a loved one.

"It is concerning that we are seeing a few reports of this and banks have thankfully stepped in to protect customers from falling foul to these scammers.

"Anyone who is receiving calls asking for money to be transferred by scammers should call 101 or report it to Action Fraud immediately."

Meanwhile Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane added: "These scams can be incredibly believable and are frightening for victims.

"I would ask anyone who has a vulnerable or elderly relative or neighbour to please inform them of these scams so we can prevent people falling foul to these individuals."

Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.