A BOURNEMOUTH woman is urging residents to remain vigilant when it comes to answering the phone after receiving numerous scam phone calls.

Linda Lesbirel from West Howe as been receiving "weird" phone calls from mystery callers for a couple of months, with the calls becoming more regular in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, October 7 Linda received another phone call from the mystery - and potential scam - caller.

She said: "A foreign lady who is hard to understand threatened to cut my internet connection off if I hung up the phone. I said 'that sounds like a threat'. She then asked me who my internet connection was with. How is she going to disconnect my internet if she doesn't know my provider? I hung up and made a note of the number: 01189464226

"I don't want to call these numbers back to find out who they are as there are so many scams around.

"What is going on?"

Linda is suspicious that companies may be selling her private information on, resulting in the scam phone calls.

She is also conscious that phone calls like the ones she has been receiving could affect the older generation.

Linda said: "It can be frightening when someone threatens you. I have my husband in the house with me, but I'm thinking of the little old lady on her own.

"I want to get to the root of this."

Advice from the Dorset Police website details the effects of scam phone calls, which goes beyond financial impact.

It reads: "Increasingly fraud is becoming more complex and deceptive, much of which is targeted at vulnerable and elderly people.

"The impact of fraud on victims is not only financial. The emotional impact is significant and includes guilt, misplaced trust and diminished confidence, which can have detrimental effects on the physical and mental health of the victim."

Tips on how to stay safe include never send or give money to anyone you don't know or trust, never share your personal or financial information with anyone and never feel rushed into making a decision.

If you are asked to make payment over the phone for something always confirm the caller’s identity first using the contact number published on utility bills or in the telephone directory.

Alternatively, hang up the phone.