Residents in south east Northumberland are being warned to be on their guard against a potential phone scam.
Officers at Northumbria Police say there has been a rise in the number of calls from members of the public about the public about the apparent con trick.
Residents are receiving calls from people claiming to be at the Office of Fair Trading in relation to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims.
The caller then asks the resident to buy £250 worth of electronic payment vouchers from the Post Office and then ring back in order to ‘unlock’ a payment of £5,000.
Crime prevention advisor Sandra Killeen is urging people to think before agreeing to hand over any money.
She said: “Police advice is that if a deal seems too good to be true then it usually is.
“Never agree to hand over cash or card details to anyone who cold calls asking for money to be handed over in order to release an amount of cash.
“Always make more enquiries, get the caller’s details and contact the police.
“Never hand over personal details or credit or bank card details. It’s vital people are vigilant.”
Anyone who receives a call should contact police on 101.
For more crime prevention advice visit www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/crime_prevention/fraud/index.asp