FRAUDSTERS conned Dorset victims out of £4.6 million in just six months, police say.

Between the beginning of April and the end of September 2016, 2,406 offences of fraud were reported to the force.

Conmen were most likely to use the phone in a bid to target victims aged between 60 and 79.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Kennard of the economic crime unit said fraud “often affects the most vulnerable”.

“People often feel embarrassed about being a victim of fraud, but there is no reason to be. It can happen to anyone and it is important you tell us,” DS Kennard said.

“Reporting fraud helps us to understand the new trends and techniques being used by criminals and gives us the opportunity to warn others before they become victims.”

DS Kennard warned residents that becoming a victim of fraud is “easy”.

“Fraudsters are clever and know how to gain your trust,” he said.

“Make sure you don’t give out any personal information to anyone unless you have confirmed who it is you are speaking to.

“Remember - you will never be asked for your personal banking details, such as passwords and PIN numbers.

“If you are, hang up and contact the organisation or company back by using a number you know, such as one from your latest bill,.”

Andy Sherriff, Trading Standards planning enforcement and regulatory support manager, said: “The advice is, be sceptical.

“If someone has called you and is hassling you to do something, if you’ve got an email telling you to reply immediately with bank details, just go away and make a cup of tea. There’s nothing so urgent that it can’t wait for five minutes.”