HAMPSHIRE council chiefs have warned people to be wary of suspicious phone calls after fraudsters posed as police.

A businessman received a mobile phone call asking him if he wanted to place an advert in a police magazine, but he refused and ended the call.

In a separate incident, a New Forest resident was targeted by conmen claiming to be bank staff.

An automated message left on his answering machine asked him to take part in a survey. He called the number given and heard another automated message instructing him to provide details of his account.

He contacted his bank, who confirmed that the survey was a scam.

Now the Safer New Forest Partnership, which includes the police and the district council, are urging residents to remain vigilant.

Community safety officer Norman Bareham said: “The police wouldn’t ring businesses direct to sell advertising space.

“There are publications read by police officers and people do advertise in them, but the advertising space is sold by the publishers or their agents, not by someone ringing you up and claiming to be the police.”

Cllr Jill Cleary, New Forest District Council’s Cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “These latest reports of phone scams are just two of many which are being carried out by fraudsters who often prey on vulnerable people in our communities.

‘On their guard’ “I hope this will put people on their guard if they receive suspicious phone calls, unwelcome doorstep salesmen or emails promising cash.”

The partnership is advising residents to consider registering with the Telephone Preferential Service (TPS), which aims to prevent people from receiving nuisance calls.

Anyone who fears they are being targeted by conmen can contact Hampshire County Council’s quick response team on 01962 833666.