Council chiefs in Barnsley are warning of a rise in the number of people being defrauded as they try to borrow money.
They say that residents and businesses struggling to make ends meet are turning to the internet or are falling victim to telesales calls offering to provide loans.
The council is warning that fraudsters suggest they can arrange loans or provide better terms than would normally be available but ask for payment upfront to arrange a loan often in the form of electronic money or international money transfers which cannot be traced or reversed.
Councillor Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet spokesman for Development, Environment and Culture, said: “Never send money off or give your debit or credit card details to people you don’t know, or who you haven’t checked out first.
“Be wary of requests to wire money to another country or use overseas payment methods.”
Anyone in difficulty with debt should contact the National Debtline on 0808 8084000 or visit www.nationaldebtline.co.uk for more information.
Consumers can report any scams calling the Citizens Advice on 08454 040506.