Fraudsters are cold calling homes in Derry to try to dupe local people into forking out cash.
Police are warning householders to be aware of the scam, which involves a cold phone caller claiming that money from refunded bank charges or from a payment protection insurance claim will be paid to the victim.
The person who makes the call asks for an administration fee to process the payment. However in reality there is no payment and the fee paid will be lost.
Victims may be asked to pay the fee using a online payment vouchers scheme, which allows consumers to exchange their banknotes and coins for a voucher code representing electronic money of the same value.
They can then use this money to shop on the internet.
Fraudsters use the service to their advantage by asking residents to purchase the vouchers and then they phone the residents back with the voucher numbers. They do this on the pretence of checking the money is present before processing the bogus repayment.
In fact, as soon as the fraudsters receive the voucher numbers, they can access the funds and steal the money from the victim.
A police spokesperson said: “If you receive unexpected phone calls such as these, be suspicious and never give out personal information or pay a fee. Remember that if the caller is legitimate you will be able to call them back on an officially listed phone number at a later date. Always hang up the phone if you are at all unsure. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
Anyone who has been a victim of a scam’ should report the incident to local police on 0845 600 8000.