Beware this phone scam

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COUNTY residents are warned to be on their guard against a payment protection telephone scam.

Northumberland Trading Standards officers were contacted last Thursday by a Morpeth resident, who believes they were targeted by a fraudster who tried to get them to hand over cash in return for a promised cheque.

The caller claimed to be from a company handling claims on behalf of a bank. He told the householder they had been awarded £3,160 in compensation as they had taken out payment protection insurance on a loan in the past.

He requested that the householder pay £316 in cash, which someone would collect within the hour, and then they would receive the cheque.

Trading Standards found the call had come from outside the country, despite the caller claiming the company is based in Lancashire.

Urban Team Manager Judith Shewan said: “No reputable company will ask you to hand over cash before they will send a cheque. People should be aware these calls are happening now in Northumberland and be on their guard.”