A woman targeted by a phone scam thanked police after their advice stopped her falling victim to a con.

The potential victim, who did not want to be named, was contacted by a man who claimed to be a detective investigating irregular purchases on her bank card.

The con-artist asked her to phone a number to report the fraudulent activity to her bank but the woman remembered police information on how the scam worked.

Using her mobile phone she called her landline, which was engaged, meaning the swindler had not hung up and was waiting for her to call the bank and give her details.

When the Kew woman did not make the call the bogus detective phoned again to ask why she had not rung her bank she told him she knew it was a scam and he hanged up.

Police said a later call to her bank confirmed there had been no dubious transactions and she contacted officers to thank them.

PCSO Lorraine Childs, from the Kew neighbourhood policing team, said: “It is wonderful to receive feedback like this and learn that your action has helped stop someone becoming the victim of crime.

“These scammers are very plausible and part of our role is to advise people how to protect themselves from these criminals.

“Anyone who would like this crime prevention advice has only to contact their local police team.”