A SCAM warning has been issued to locals after it emerged a series of fraudulent emails and phone calls were making the rounds.

Barnsley Council and Barnsley Citizens Advice Bureau teamed up to warn locals to be on their guard after reports of common scams circulating in the area.

These include:

* Foreign lottery wins that ask you to pay a fee to claim your ‘prize’ when you haven’t really won anything

* Fake scam offers offering investments that don't really exist

* Miracle health cures for products like arthritis cream from a website that has not been tested and is unproven

A council spokesman said: "Scams will often make extravagant promises; ask you to pay something up front, put pressure on you to make a quick decision or ask for bank account details so they can steal your money.

"Often, only a mobile phone number is given as a contact and a PO Box number or mailbox is used as an address – mailboxes look like a real address but the business isn’t based there.

"Remember, PO boxes and mobile numbers are hard to trace and easy to turn off. Use an online search engine to check a businesses address – a mailbox will have many companies based at the same address."

The Council say if you have an scam email, just ignore it, don't reply under any circumstances. It also says you should hang up if cold called and never give out personal details over the phone.

* To reduce the risk of being scammed you can register your address with the mailing preference service http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ and register your phone with the telephone preference service http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html

* For advice visit the Citizens Advice Bureau Advice Guide webpage http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england.htm or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 4 04 05 06.