POLICE are urging people to be on their guard after a man was tricked into giving his bank details over the phone.

The elderly Northallerton man was contacted by a person claiming to be from the Department of Work and Pensions. The caller stated the victim was entitled to a Cold Weather Payment of £25.

The victim was advised that the money would be paid into his account after the caller confirmed his name and address and asked for his bank details.

PC Karen Barugh said: "Anyone who is entitled to a cold weather payment will receive it automatically.

"The Department for Work and Pensions will not contact you by telephone asking for your bank details.

"You should never give your details to anybody over the phone, especially if they have contacted you."

Cold weather payments are triggered when the average temperature where the recipient lives is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0degC or below over seven consecutive days during the period from 1 November 2009 to 31 March 2010.

Anyone who wants to report suspicious callers is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060 247. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.