Scam warning

Police urge the public to be more aware.

Police in Devon are urging the public to be more aware when parting with their money due to a number of scams circulating in the region.

The scams are being undertaken over the internet, phone, post, fax or in person and police say there is no particular pattern.

A number of reports have been made in regards to goods being paid for on eBay or Gumtree with the items never turning up as well as scams where people have paid money out via Western Union or other payment methods for one-off payments to allow large sums to be released back into their bank accounts.

Other examples include lottery winnings, which require a payment up front, as well as people claiming to be banks who owe the victim money, who then ask for a payment for the sum to be released,

The police say these scams are varied and often very plausible and tend to promise high-yield returns that never transpire.

DC John Knowles said: “We have had numerous cases of people parting with varying sums of money on the expectation that they will received a lot more than they are paying for.

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“The adage ‘if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is’ is a good rule of thumb.

“We would ask people to think very carefully before sending any kind of money to anyone on an unsolicited basis and do not part with the money unless you are 100 per cent sure the recipient is bona fide.”

Police are working with the victims of these crimes and passing on details to relevant investigating forces both in the UK and abroad.

He added: “We feel that we may not be seeing the full picture as many people may feel embarrassed once they realise that they have been the victim of a scam and do not come forward and report it to police – we would encourage them to do so.”

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To report a scam call police on 08452 777 444.