RESIDENTS across the West Mercia police force area have been receiving telephone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from Amazon and have successfully defrauded victims of around £70,000 in the last 24 hours, police have revealed.

The scam involves a fraudsters stating the recipient is eligible for an Amazon refund. The victim then follows a series of instructions from the criminal caller who then gains access to their bank details and removes their funds.

The West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit is warning people who have been receiving these calls about the scam which has so far seen victims in Worcestershire conned out of around £25,000 and those in Shropshire conned out of around £45,000

Detective Inspector Emma Wright said no legitimate company, organisation, government body or police force would ever ask for bank details or ask for money to be transferred and she added: "While we are working hard to make everyone aware of these scams and identify these criminals and bring them to justice the public can help us by helping each other; by telling vulnerable and elderly friends, neighbours and relatives who may not have seen the news or social media messages that these scams exist and what they can do.

"Together we will make it impossible for these fraudsters to take advantage of those more vulnerable in our communities.

“We are advising all reports of these calls to be passed onto, and reminding computer users to evaluate their online safety."

She urged people to ensure they have up to date security software, use secure passwords and regularly back up data and she advised people to visit which gives detailed information about what to look out for.

DI Wright added: "Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

“Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call."

She said unsolicited requests for remote access to a computer should always raise a red flag and she said anyone who has received such a call and provided bank details which has led to funds being removed should contact their bank immediately and contact police on 101.