CRUEL crooks conned an innocent Oxfordshire resident in an elaborate phone scam.

Police were notified of a 'high-value' fraud in the north of the county after a victim discovered they had been tricked into paying a large sum of money.

They received a phone call from a fraudster who told them that they would be arrested if they did not pay out, in what appears to be a string of stings.

How to not fall victim to latest scam in Oxfordshire

In a post on Facebook Thames Valley Police Cherwell advised people about the popular type of scam known as 'courier fraud' where criminals prey on isolated people by posing as police officers or bank officials.

The post read: "It is a common tactic of telephone scammers to pretend to be authority figures as victims often panic and think there will be serious consequences if they do not comply with instructions."

The force also reminded people that the police, bank, HMRC or any organisation that deals with personal finances will never ask them to part with money or disclose financial information such as a PIN number.

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Police say that courier fraud is not a ‘new type of crime’ and there has not been an increase during lockdown but residents, particularly elderly people, are being targeted regularly, with officers responding to at least 80 calls about it in the last seven months.

The force also urged anybody who received such a call to end it immediately.

Contact Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040 or call the police on 101 for more information on the scam.