PEOPLE across West Mercia have been duped out of over £230,000 over the past year by fraudsters pretending to be police or bank officials. 

The £233,659 lost over the past 12 months came from 35 reports of courier fraud- an average of around £6,675 per case. 

Police chiefs in Worcestershire are now urging pensioners to be vigilant. 

Overall, more than £28.7million was lost to courier fraud in the last year, with people in their 80s most likely to be targeted.

Those within this age range account for 43 per cent of all courier fraud victims, data from Action Fraud shows.

Courier fraud occurs when people are contacted by those pretending to be police officers or bank officials and are convinced to hand over money, valuables or bank cards. 

The cash and valuables are then collected from the victim's home addresses, often by couriers. 

Tactics used by the criminals include claiming there is a problem with the victim's account and they need your help to catch the real criminals. 

The victim may also be encouraged to hand over their bank cards and PINs, as well as high-value items such as jewellery, watches and gold. 

People can also be persuaded to go out and buy items such as gold and jewellery from legitimate retailers on behalf of criminals.

Visit or call 0300 123 2040 to report fraud.