TELEPHONE scammers are targeting small and vulnerable businesses by pretending to be Thames Valley Police, it has been warned.

Crooks are posing as people selling editorial space in a magazine for former emergency services staff.

They lure businesses in by offering cheap advertising options, and give prices depending on how much space the victim wants to buy.

Antony Dixey, who has just set up a valet business in Wantage, nearly fell for the scam when they called his business mobile.

He said: “They were really pushing the space, but they said that I couldn’t change my mind. I had a sales guy call, then a designer, then the sales guy again.

“Then they sent me an email with a recording of my call trying to say I’d made a verbal agreement and couldn’t back out. Alarm bells started to ring. I spotted some police officers outside my house and went to ask them, and they said they’d never heard of any journal and it was a scam. It looked real, and I don’t want other businesses to fall for it.”

Police will never collect your bank card or ask for your PIN, and advise that people who receive scam calls take note of what is said, hang up and then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report it.

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