Scammers are impersonating the Government to exploit people's coronavirus money worries, police have said.

Criminals are targeting low earners with .Gov branded messages telling them they are eligible for a council tax reduction.

Between April 8 and April 16, Action Fraud received 131 reports of the emails, which included a link to "claim" the reduction straight into their bank account, City of London Police said.

There have also been 23 reports of emails purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials, telling victims over email they are eligible for a tax refund up to £775.80.

They then ask for proof of identity and address under the guise of completing the payment, the force said.

These were recorded between April 11 and April 14.

Officers said they are "successfully cracking down" on the fraudsters targeting the vulnerable.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson said: "This sends a clear message to those callously seeking to exploit this national crisis to commit fraud: we will track you down and bring you to justice."

People are being urged not to click on any links on "out of the blue" texts and emails, and "instead, visit the official GOV.UK website by typing it directly into your web browser so you can ensure the information you are seeing is genuine".

Commander Karen Baxter, from City of London Police, national lead force for fraud, said: "It is not right that criminals are targeting those on lower incomes, who may be struggling financially at this time, and pretending to offer help and assistance."