Fraudsters are swindling more people than ever using the most sophisticated techniques.

Online, doorstep and telephone fraud are rife in South Lakeland, with heartless criminals preying on the elderly according to Cumbria Trading Standards.

They are warning the public to be vigilant as fraud offences rose by 25 per cent in the last year.

Ruthless con-artists pose as bank managers or phone companies who want to perform ‘routine checks’ on their accounts.

They then ask unsuspecting people to tell them their account details before defrauding them.

Mike Smyth, Cumbria Trading Standards manager, is urging people to ‘just say no’ to cold callers and refuse to give them any bank details.

“Scammers can’t continue to get away with fleecing people of their hard-earned money,” said Mr Smyth. “We want to see a fight back against scams."

To find out more on how to avoid fraud visit or report fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.