Wiganers have been put on alert following fresh reports of con artists cheating them out of their money.
Fraudsters are duping residents into coughing up cash over the phone by scammers purporting to be from their bank or credit card company.
As part of the new scam, customers will receive an automated call claiming that a suspicious transaction has occurred on their account and needs to be verified.
The customer is then prompted to press a number on their phone to be taken through to a supposed “agent”, who is actually trying to drain their bank account.
All consumers are reminded that banks or the police will never contact you asking for your online banking password or for you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime, UK Finance, said: “There has been a spike in cases over the past week involving automated calls from fraudsters pretending to be from your bank.
“It’s crucial that people remain vigilant and question any phone calls out of the blue, even if they state there has been fraud on your account.
She added: “Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don’t take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine.
“Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious.
“Instead, take five to stop and think, and then contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust such as the one on their official website.”
The group also issued guidance for Wiganers on how to spot the signs of a scam.
“Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from your bank, the police or a telecoms company asking for personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money,” the group said.
“Remember that a genuine bank will never call you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
“If you feel something is suspicious or feel vulnerable, hang up and then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.”
Anti-fraud group Take Five has a wide range of advice and support on how to avoid being a victim of online and telephone scams.
They also revealed five key things to look out for if you are suspect someone on the phone is trying to con you:
The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password.
Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.
To find out more about protecting yourself from online and telephone scams, visit takefive-stopfraug.org.uk/advice