WATCH OUT SCAMMERS ARE ABOUT!

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GREEDY scammers conning people out of hundreds of pounds are targeting our town.

The police and government agency Action Fraud are investigating reports by residents in Market Rasen and Caistor who have come close to becoming victims of the phone scams.

In one scam criminals posing as Ministry of Justice officials call victims to say they are owed a large amount of cash from a historic loan taken out with mis-sold insurance.

The scammers – who are reported to have foreign accents - then tell the victim to buy a £150 Ukash voucher from the Co-op – these vouchers are used for online shopping by people who do not want to use their debit or credit cards for purchases made over the internet.

The innocent residents are then told the voucher will be a deposit or payment for the compensation service and someone will collect the voucher in exchange for their cash.

In a follow-up call the victim is told the person collecting the voucher cannot make the visit and they are asked for the voucher code – enabling the offender to steal the cash.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “Police are re-iterating their warning for members of the public to be wary of any approaches over the phone informing them that they have won cash or are owed money or eligible to a rebate.

“They may be given a number of reasons why they need to incur some sort of expenditure before being able to claim their money, and police are asking people to be particularly vigilant against this sort of tactic.

“Never give personal or financial details out over the phone, or to any organisation or individual who has not been checked for authenticity. Legitimate organisations will not ask you for this information unsolicited.

“Also, be very wary of being asked to purchase anything, leave a deposit or pay for any services required in order to access the money.”

Another reported scam involves residents being called by someone wanting to fix problems on the person’s computer.

Caistor Coun Alan Caine, who served in the police for 38-years, said he was targeted by this scam and believes it was an attempt to take money and gain control over his computer.

He said: “I told him there was nothing wrong and asked for his number. He gave me a London number but on ringing it went to a non UK ringing tone.

“I’m aware of these scams and treat everything with suspicion but a lot of people take things at face value. I want to make sure as many people as possible know about these scams so they don’t become victims.”

If you have any information call Lincolnshire Police on 101.