Police have warned about a new scam operating in North Yorkshire.

Fraudsters have been hacking Facebook accounts – then using them to message the account’s friends inviting them to invest in a cryptocurrency.

The ‘friend’ promises large returns – but if you do send any money, you’ll never see it again, police say.

It’s a scam that relies on the fact that we naturally trust our friends. So if you do get such a request, it’s vital to call your friend first to check the request is legitimate, police stress.

“The fraudsters are relentless in their tactics to scam people out of their money,” North Yorkshire Police’s fraud team say in a post on Facebook.

“We are on a mission to make sure you know all of the tricks to keep yourselves, your family and friends safe.

“We’ve had a few reports of people receiving messages on Facebook from what seems to be a trusted source, a friend.

“The message encourages you to send money to a nominated account to invest in Bitcoin or another crypto currency. Your ‘friend’ promises large returns, but yep you’ve guessed it, this is a scam!

“Inevitably the ‘friend’s’ Facebook account has been hacked and anyone unfortunate enough to part with money will most certainly not see it again.

“There are even reports of video and voice calls from the ‘friend’ that seem to confirm the get rich quick scheme is real. This is just the fraudsters manipulating people, and manipulating what they can find through online research.

“Please keep safe - and if you receive a message you believe is from a friend, give them a call to find out if it’s really them.”