Police Scotland have issued a stern warning to Helensburgh and Lomond residents to be cautious following a number of scams reported in recent months.

One callous imposter shamelessly attempted to fleece an 82-year-old woman, from Oban, out of “large sums” of cash while claiming to be an employee from her own bank.

The con artist boldly duped the pensioner into believing staff at the bank were trying to defraud her and ordered her to withdraw the money and send it via “special delivery”.

Inspector Paul Collins said: ”Do not trust any unexpected correspondence.

Never pass your personal or financial details to anyone unless you’re clear who they are and why they require that information.”

Elsewhere, a 49-year-old woman from Lochgilphead was swindled out of £23,000 in a sick “romance fraud”.

The ruthless fraudster brazenly hoodwinked the unsuspecting woman into believing there was a “romantic connection” before tricking her into sending over a large sum of cash.

Cops have issued a checklist of measures to ensure Helensburgh and Lomond residents don’t fall victim to such scams.

The advice includes staying alert online and being cautious when clicking on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails.

Users should never divulge sensitive details such as personal information or bank details.

Furthermore, care should be taken when a cold call is received and if in doubt contact the company through a number you know and trust.

Scams on social media is also commonplace - the take home message when buying goods online is: “If a deal is too good to be true, it usually is.”

Any victims of financial crime or any worried residents should contact Police Scotland on the non-emergency 101 number.