A SOUTH Cumbrian woman in her 80s was scammed out of nearly £6,000 by a man pretending to be from the fraud prevention department.

Officers were called yesterday afternoon (March 7) to reports of an Arnside woman – in her 80s - being conned out of £5,700.

She was called on February 27 by a man purporting to be from the fraud prevention department of the National Crime Agency, who instructed her to move her money into a ‘safe account’.

He told her to take a taxi to the bank and if questioned, to tell them it was for a new kitchen, and to phone him when she got back home to say it had been done.

The victim carried out this request, and when she called him back, was told that someone would attend her address the following day with some paperwork. This did not take place.

Detective Inspector Vicki Coombes said: "People need to be vigilant and educated about fraud, to prevent them from falling victim.

"Our advice for such scams is to disregard the message. You would never be called and asked to transfer money. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, and if you are unsure about the call, contact the relevant agency (bank / police) to clarify. Ensure you do this from a number you find yourself, not from one given to you by the caller.

"We ask that all relatives, friends and neighbours of elderly people or those most vulnerable in our society, speak to them and ensure they know about such fraudsters. Please make sure they know what to do if they get a call, and that they are not scared to tell others about it, even if the scammers tell them not to."