How would you feel if you were at home, alone, and you received a phone call from someone telling you that people were watching your house?

For 80-year-old Joan Scott, from Bridport, that was a reality when she fell victim to a malicious phone call.

Mrs Scott has labelled those responsible ‘cruel and nasty’ – and would like to warn others about the call, should they receive something similar.

“They told me that four dangerous criminals had escaped and that they were watching my house,” said Mrs Scott.

“I am in my 80s and only my family has my number. I do not scare easily but for a moment I was scared. It could really, really frighten somebody else if they’re at home alone, whether they are young or old. If it was somebody’s idea of a joke, it was not very funny.”

Mrs Scott contacted police and Action Fraud about the incident.

“If it was a child I could sort of understand why they might have done but they did not sound like a child, they sounded like a grown man,” she said.

“I would like to be able to tell them to their face what I think of them, but people who do things like this hide behind things to scare people. It’s not funny, it was just nasty.”

Mrs Scott contacted the Bridport News as she would like to alert others to such pranks.

“I want to warn people that these people are about,” she said. “So they will not be scared if they receive a call. I can take a joke, but there was thing funny about it. I have plenty of words to describe the people who devise these calls - he is a cruel, stupid man.”

Dorset Police has issued the following advice:

Never send or give money to anyone you don't know or trust

Never share your personal or financial information with anyone

If you are asked to make payment over the phone for something always confirm the caller’s identity first using the contact number published on utility bills or in the telephone directory

Never feel rushed into making a decision

If you are at all concerned, hang up and phone a relative or a friend.

You can report incidents to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.