A WARNING has been issued after statistics show there has been a rise in people falling victim to loan scams.

The council has issued a warning to people and businesses struggling to make ends meet to avoid turning to the internet or telesales calls offering to provide loans.

Fraudsters - who suggest they can arrange loans or provide better terms than would normally be available - often choose tradings names which can be confused with those of legitimate, licensed lenders.

They ask for payment upfront to arrange a loan, usually around £100, although council officers have heard of cases involving thousands of pounds, in the form of electronic money or international money transfers like Ukash or Western Union - methods which cannot be traced or reversed.

Some would-be borrowers have even been asked to meet at a specified location to handover cash to persons they don’t know.

Once the fraudsters have people's bank details multiple fees are often taken even after just one loan enquiry.