PHONE scams can easily trick people into losing money, particularly those that are targeted at the elderly and the vulnerable.

Here is a list of five phone scams to be aware of that have recently taken place in Oxfordshire:

1. “There is a court injunction against you”

Just this week, 71-year-old Dot Holloway from Minster Lovell, picked up the phone only to be told by an automated message that she had a court injunction against her.

The message continued to say: “This is an important message. Press 1 to access a solicitor who will be acting on your behalf.”

Mrs Holloway said: "This ‘sinister’ scam will easily trick the vulnerable. This is an obvious scam. I'm concerned that anyone who is vulnerable or has a nervous disposition will think they have to 'press one' but they don't - it's completely made up."

2. “You’ve won the lottery”

Another scam to be aware of tricks people into thinking they’ve won the lottery.

Housholders in West Oxfordshire were targeted by fraudsters who promised big winnings from the Canadian lottery.

James Day, 73, from Witney came home one day to an answering phone message saying he had won half a million pounds.

He said: “It's not the most convincing scam and I didn't call the number they used but others, especially older people, could be fooled."

3. “I’m disconnecting you because of your unpaid bill”

A ‘devious’ phone scam tried to get credit card details from BT customers.

The scam involved a man claiming to be from BT informing people that he would disconnect their phone unless they would pay £31 or it would cost £118 to re-connect at a later date.

The man wanted payment to be made via credit card.

The victim of the scam did not believe the man’s story and he then made it appear as though the phone had been disconnected – but it hadn’t.

The victim said: “The cutting off of the line is very simple, he stays on the line with the mute button on and you can't dial out - but he can hear you trying.

"When you stop trying, he cuts off and immediately calls back. You could almost be convinced.”

4. ‘Police’ imposter requests money

A number of incidents involved scammers claiming to be from the Metropolitan or Essex police who told victims that money had been fraudulently taken out of their bank account.

The victim was told by the fake policemen that to protect the remaining funds they must withdraw large sums of money which will then be collected by an arranged courier and kept in a safe place for them.

The fraudsters encouraged their victim to dial 999 and ask for a detective or call their bank to show they are not being scammed, but keeping the phone line open, another scammer would then pretend to be the police operator or bank.

5. Arrest warrant

People in the South and Vale district were receiving voicemails stating they would be arrested and telling them to call back on a number given.