HAMPSHIRE council chiefs have warned New Forest residents 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 district council, is urging residents to be 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 claiming to be the police.”

The partnership is advising residents to consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), to prevent nuisance calls.

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