A woman was conned by online fraudsters claiming to represent a veterans' charity.

Weymouth resident Angela Gardner, 59, found a book while searching online that she wanted to get as a gift for her husband.

The website from which she ordered it claimed to be that of Help for Heroes.

However, after she ordered the book she discovered that the website was fraudulent, and found that £160 had been stolen from her bank account.

She said: "I was on Facebook just scrolling through. This site came up saying Help for Heroes. My husband was in the Fusiliers. There was a book, and it said it was for free."

Even though the website said the book was free, it demanded her bank details for a 'postage charge'.

Mrs Gardner said: "I was very angry and upset. I was crying all day."

Fortunately, the bank was able to retrieve her money.

She added: "That was a relief. I just burst into tears in the bank. I thought I had lost it forever. It makes you really scared of doing anything online again. I would never shop online again."

The fraudulent website has now been closed down.

A spokesman for Help for Heroes said: "The vital support we deliver our wounded veterans depends on the generosity of the general public. We take any type of fraud very seriously and would urge anyone shopping online to be vigilant at all times. If anything ever seems suspicious online then make sure you report it to Action Fraud."

Dorset Police are offering advice about how people can protect themselves from online fraud.

A spokesman said: "Cyber-crime is on the rise, with major data breaches now a regular fixture in the news. Computer hacking, malware and cyber enabled frauds now cost the UK just under one billion pounds every 6 months.

"The speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet - paired with the staggering rate at which technology is advancing - means that the entry point for cyber crime is lower than ever before, and would-be criminals are able to learn and develop their skills with resources readily available online."

Police recommend that people use strong passwords, ensure that their browsers are secure and to not open email attachments that are not trustworthy, especially ones ending with .exe

They also advise that people concerned about their privacy should delete their internet history.

Anyone who is the victim of a fraud should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

For more information, visit dorset.police.uk