A 77-year-old woman was scammed out of £3,200 when she was contacted by someone pretending to be one of her Facebook friends.

Avon and Somerset Police said the woman's 'friend' told her she had won money in a prize draw and sent a link to her telling her to speak to a 'claiming agent' on Facebook messenger so she could claim her prize.

The pensioner followed these instructions and was told she needed to purchase a £200 Amazon card to activate her winnings.

She queried this by messaging whom she believed to be her friend and the friend replied saying she had to do it too.

As a result the victim purchased a £200 Amazon card and a took a photo of the codes, sending them to the account on Messenger.

Police say these conversations continued daily with requests for more money from the victim.

When the victim felt uneasy and questioned the integrity of the scheme, her 'friend' reassured her everything was okay and this was the same process she went through to claim her winnings.

Over a period of 11 days, the victim spent just over £3,000 on iTunes cards and £200 on Amazon cards.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said the force is urging social media users to be aware of the scheme.

The spokesman said: "Please be aware of this scam and share this information with any family members of friends who could be vulnerable to this crime."

If you believe you may have been a victim of fraud, then please don't hesitate to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2049, online:

https://www.actionfraid.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber… or call us on 101.