Police are advising the public to once again be on their guard regarding scam phone calls, with reports being received from across the county.

The scam consists of a company contacting people purporting to be working for PPI compensation.

They allege that a solicitor is on route with a cheque to the value of several thousand pounds. In order to obtain the money, people are instructed to go to a local shop to purchase a UKASH voucher. They then have to ring back with the serial number on the voucher and money is then transferred.

UKASH is a genuine service that works as an internet money transfer scheme. The voucher serial number is needed in order to claim the money. Police are advising that people should only give the serial number to people they trust and to whom they want the money to go, and to treat the vouchers as they would cash.

Advice is to check with the bank directly to see if PPI compensation is entitled, there are genuine companies who can help with claims, but caution needs to be used when being cold called.

Anyone who believes they have a compensation claim, should make contact themselves with a company. Personal information and account details should never been given out over the phone to someone who cold called.

Friends and family are asked to make sure that elderly and vulnerable people are aware of this. They are often targeted because they do not sometimes understand the deceitful behaviour being used.

If anyone has any doubts about the validity of someone's identification, please call Cumbria Constabulary for advice on telephone number 101, asking to speak to the help desk. For further information about protection from Financial Crime contact the Action Fraud Hotline on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk