PEOPLE in Dorset are being urged to be on their guard against fraudsters – as as the number of people being duped by scammers continues to rise.

CPR Call Blocker has compiled the list of the most active scams doing the rounds in Dorset and is warning people in the area to be on the lookout.

It comes after it was revealed a Dorset couple in their 70s were conned out of almost £1 million by a scammer who claimed to be a detective.

The victims, from Bournemouth, were left with just £187 after the ruthless scammer manipulated them and returned time and time again.

The offender contacted them last August, claiming to be a police officer.

He claimed their bank account and funds were at risk and went about a complicated fraud in which the victims were convinced to transfer their savings to a "safe place."

The couple became so concerned about their savings and pension that they transferred almost all of their money into an account set up by the bogus detective.

The fraud was uncovered in October last year but details were only released yesterday as police revealed more than 40 people have been arrested in a crackdown on so-called courier fraud across England and Wales.

The top 5 scams doing the rounds locally are:

1. Police scam – you may receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or detective who convinces you to withdraw funds and hand them over to an investigator. They may give you a fake crime number and investigation details. They also convince you not to trust bank staff. In some cases, people are asked to call 999 or 101 to verify the call is genuine but the scammers keep the line open, so you are actually talking to them.

2. Amazon Prime scam - you may get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon Prime saying you’ve been charged for an annual subscription. They then tell you that fraudsters have hacked your account to authorise payment, but it can be cancelled if you press 1 and then give access to your bank account in order to undo the hack. Amazon Prime would never ask you to do this.

3. Bank scam - someone may call claiming to be from your bank saying there’s a problem with your card or account. They may ask for your account, card and PIN details. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe’ account to protect it. A bank would never ask you to do this.

4. HMRC scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC saying there is an issue with your tax refund or an unpaid tax bill. They leave a message asking you to call back. HMRC would never contact you in this way and ask for personal information and bank details.

5. Compensation scam – you receive a call to tell you that you are due compensation for a vehicle/work accident and you are then asked to provide personal details and/or pay an admin fee to proceed.

Chelsea Davies, CPR Call Blocker Business Development Manager, said: “Whilst online scams continue to be growing, that doesn't mean that offline scams aren't also on the rise. Indeed, with so many people treating their mobile phones as an extension of their body, people are more accessible by phone than ever before. Some of these scams target specific individuals, while others involve people being called at random. Some involve phishing, a type of scam in which the caller is trying to find out information (such as personal or banking information) that can be used in other crimes.

“We want to make people in Dorset aware that scammers are becoming more inventive and if something sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, it could well be a scam. We always strongly recommend never giving your bank details or paying or something over the phone that you're unsure of. Especially if the call you receive is the first time you have heard of any payment that needs to be made.”

To stop unwanted calls:

* Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service – call 0845 070 0707 or visit

* Don’t consent to being contacted – get your phone number taken off directories and look out for tick boxed on all marketing correspondence to see if ticking or unticking them will prevent your details being passed on to third parties

* Consider getting a call blocker

If you think you may be receiving scam calls, here are a few ways to protect yourself:

* Don't reveal personal details. Never give out personal or financial information such as your bank account details or PIN – even if the caller claims to be from your bank

* Hang up. If you feel harassed or intimidated, end the call. You have the right not to feel pressurised.

* Ring the organisation. If you’re unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself and don't use one provided by the caller.

* Don't be rushed. Scammers will try to rush you into providing personal details. They may say they have a time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don't give them the information they need right away