Scam targets jobless and poor

RESIDENTS in Sidmouth and Ottery have been warned about a money laundering scam where criminals prey on people who are out of work or seeking loans.

The con has come to the attention of police who want to prevent anyone else falling victim following two recent cases in East Devon.

The first part of the scam sees offenders, who detectives believe may be operating outside of the UK, offer loans.

They ask for administrative payments before funds are released.

These payments begin to build up with the promise of the loan being just within reach if the victim pays out more and more - but the loan is never provided.

Culprits place the funds in British bank accounts in the second part of the scam.

The offenders are offering jobs as financial forwarding co-ordinators and place the stolen funds in the accounts of those who apply. They instruct the recipient to immediately transfer, and unwittingly launder, the cash into offshore accounts.

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A police spokesperson urged anyone who has been offered a loan where administrative fees have to be paid up front - or employment which involves money being paid in to their own bank accounts with instructions to pay it straight out again – to report it to officers on 101.