Police are warning the elderly to be on their guard against fraudsters claiming to be able to recover cash spent on payment protection insurance (PPI) after a Leyland pensioner was duped out of £500.

A 76-year-old woman was visited by a representative from a company offering to reclaim PPI insurance.

Several weeks later, the victim was contacted and told there was a cheque waiting to be delivered to her but she was told that to claim the cheque a small fee needed paying.

The victim agreed and was visited by a company representative and duly paid the fee via Ukash transactions at a local shop.

The offender then reassured his victim that a cheque would be dropped off at her home later the same day, but this never happened.

Police said callers tell victims they have several thousand pounds waiting for them and advise them to obtain a ‘Ukash’ voucher for a set amount, usually between £100 and £900 claiming that they need the voucher to release the funds. The victims will obtain the voucher, send it off but then never hear back from the company.

DC Tony McClements from Lancashire police said: “Although Ukash is a reputable company, the callers claiming to be from this PPI company are often not and are just using a legitimate company’s name to give themselves credibility.”