A PENSIONER who was cruelly targeted by fraudsters has got her money back.

Earlier this week, a woman from Ponteland was contacted by con-artists claiming to be from Barclays' Fraud Office.

As part of the elaborate fraud, she was tricked into believing she had already been targeted by a stranger trying to make purchases with her card worth £1,100 on Amazon, Northumbria Police said.

The fraudster convinced her that in order to safeguard her money she needed to send nearly £4,000 to an address in the Liverpool area.

She withdrew money and posted the cash before having second thoughts, and later rang 101.

Northumbria Police officers launched an investigation and joined forces with Merseyside Police to ensure she was reunited with her money.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Ord of Northumbria Police’s Crime Department, said: “We are aware a number of residents have been approached in this way but luckily this woman realised before it was too late and asked for help.

“Many victims can sadly be unaware they have been targeted as fraudsters can be very convincing. My advice is to exercise extreme caution when speaking to a cold-caller.

“Make a note of who they say they are, what they are calling about, and hang up. When you’re sure the line is clear, use a trusted phone number to check the call was legitimate and speak to family and friends about what’s happened.

“If you are in any doubt and think you may have been contacted by a fraudster, make sure you have hung up so the line clears and you get a new dial tone between calls, then contact the police.”

If you think you might have been a victim of courier fraud, or any other kind or fraud, contact police via 101 or Action Fraud immediately by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm. If you are calling from abroad, call +44 300 123 2040.

You can also report it online at https://reporting.actionfraud.police.uk