SOUTHAMPTON families have been targeted by heartless conmen trying to cash in.

Now police in the city have issued a warning urging people to be on their guard.

They are also encouraging neighbours and relatives to be alert.

A spokesman for police in Southampton said: "There are many types of scams going around, one of the latest ones is a male will contact someone on WhatsApp claiming to be from the Canadian Police but based in the UK.

"Their story will be incredibly convincing, claiming the male is struggling with expenses or then another person will contact the victim from another phone number stating the male has been arrested and needs money to be released.

"While this may raise major red flags to most, the people behind these scams prey on the most vulnerable and are experts on exploiting their victims.

"We have visited some of these victims and have provided safeguarding to them but please, check in on friends and family to make sure that they do not also become victims.

"Those that become victims to these scams are often very ashamed and blame themselves and do not want to tell people.

"Please do not deal with this by yourself, there is help available.

"Please refer to for more information on keeping yourself and others safe and advice on the next steps if you are a victim."