Police are warning the public over a fraud orchestrated by email that claims "someone close to them wants them dead".

The scam involves sending threatening emails to both individuals and companies advising them that someone close to them wants them dead and has provided details on how to kill the individual.

The recipient is advised to provide their bank details in order to prevent any harm coming to them.

The scam appears to be at a national level, and the emails are very generic in nature and appear to be sent from outside the UK.

There have been five separate reported cases in the Devon & Cornwall force area and although none of the victims have taken the email seriously police are taking this opportunity to publicise the attempted fraud as it appears to be generated on a large scale.

The public are advised not to be concerned if they receive such an email and do not respond in any way or provide their bank details.

If anyone has received such an email or does so in the future they are advised to contact police on 101 quoting police reference