HELENSBURGH and Lomond residents are being warned not to fall victim to scammers pretending to be from HM Revenue and Customs.

The warning comes from Argyll and Bute Council's trading standards team after reports of local residents receiving the calls which demand payment and tell people if they don't pay up that they face prosecution.

Some people in Argyll and Bute have already reported concerns over "aggressive" callers.

The authority's policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “Unfortunately fraudsters are finding increasing new ways to target people and con them out of their money.

“Letters, emails, phone calls, text messages and social media are all being used to get people to part with their cash and around three million people a year are falling victim.

“There is plenty of sound advice out there on how to avoid falling victim to these people – please heed it. Don’t be one of the three million.

“If you do believe you have been a victim, or potential victim, of a scam speak up.

"By reporting anything suspicious you are providing vital information that could contribute to the identification of fraudsters and help in the fight to prevent fraudulent scams.”

As well as calls threatening prosecution some callers ask for bank or personal information in exchange for 'tax advice' or a bogus refund.

Trading Standards advise that local residents never give out personal bank details over the phone.

For more information, or to report a scam, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040606.