COLD-CALLING conmen have got Sunderland police on high alert.
Fraudsters are tricking residents out of their hard-earned cash in exchange for vouchers.
A number of homes across the city have been targeted by the hoaxers who claim the voucher scheme will prove a cash winner.
A Washington resident received a call telling him if he snapped up £475 worth of vouchers, he would be sent a cheque for £4,000.
Fortunately, the householder refused to fall for the scam and no money or personal details were handed over.
Police are now urging Wearsiders not to be lured into the con and not to hand over any cash, bank details or personal details to callers.
In another style of con, a Sunderland woman was told she was owed £3,000 in bank charges, with tricksters asking for her bank details to refund them.
Neighbourhood Inspector Cheryl Warcup said: “These are scams and anyone receiving any of these calls or emails should hang up the phone immediately.
“Under no circumstances should people hand over any cash, bank details or other personal details.
“These fraudsters use a number of stories to con people out of money, whether they tell them they’re due a refund or can claim for overcharges or have won a lottery they haven’t entered.
“Despite the different stories, they all involve people being told they need to pay an initial amount before the money is sent.
“Anyone who pays the money risks losing it.
“If anyone is in any doubt, they should contact the organisation the caller claims to be calling from and check whether or not the call is genuine.
“It’s often the case, though, that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
To report a scam call, phone police on 03456 043 043 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.