The boss of two Kirkby Lonsdale holiday cottages has urged fellow owners to be vigilant after a 'disturbing' experience with potential scammers.

The owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, said while no crime was actually committed the incident left her concerned that this could be a worrying new tactic for thieves.

"We had an unsettling experience which has been reported to the police," she said.

"We were called at around 7pm in the evening by a No Caller ID by a woman saying they had a booking in the holiday let and they were waylaid and would be late arriving.

"I told them that they can't have a booking as both lets were booked out that night and already full.

"I asked for a surname and booking reference number and the line just went dead.

The owner, who lives close to the holiday lets, said she thought little more of the strange call until she heard her doorbell ring.

"It was just after 9pm when somebody rang the doorbell and asked for directions to the holiday lets," she said.

"I said they were fully booked but they just got in the car and the car sped away off the drive. Our security cameras captured a good image of one of the men but unfortunately it didn't get the registration of the car.

"Their manner certainly didn't suggest they were there for a weekend away."

The owner said it was only afterward that even more sinister aspects became apparent.

"They had already been to the holiday lets and tried to get in before they rang my doorbell," she said.

"It's possible that they themselves were the victim of a scam falsely advertising my cottages for let but that begs the question of how they got my phone number as that was only available through the genuine booking channel - I've taken it off now.

"I called the police but they said that because no crime had been committed there wasn't much they could do without the registration numbers.

"I just wanted people to be aware because people could get caught out by this, particularly if they're not local and their lets are empty at the time - it was disturbing."

Cumbria Police said: "We ask that people are vigilant and report suspicions to ourselves as soon as possible.

"If someone believes a crime is in progress then they should call us on 999 so that we can assess swiftly and respond."