POLICE have issued a public warning amid a spate of “sophisticated” scams.

Every year, the public loses billions of pounds to fraudsters across the UK.

“With scams ranging from the simplest confidence trick to the most sophisticated high-tech online fraud, it pays to keep up to date with the latest advice,” a Lewes Police spokesman said.

Advance fee fraud (AFF) is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Examples of AFF include lottery and prize draw scams, inheritance scams, fraud recovery fraud and career opportunity scams.

In one case, a man from West Sussex fell victim to a fake job advertisement.

The victim applied for a security job on a recruitment website and was later emailed about the job stating that to start the role the victim would be required to pay an initial fee for training and a specialist licence.

The victim was told he would need to act before the deadline given or he would not be hired.

Due to lose his current job, the victim was keen to start the new role, so attempted to pay the fee of £650.

He was also asked for his passport and National Insurance number for identification purposes.

“Thankfully, the victim's bank blocked this payment which alerted the victim to the fact it was a scam,” a Lewes Police spokesman said.

Here is some advice from the police on how to protect yourself:

  • Do not disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
  • Be wary of potentially fake profiles on social media platforms offering jobs that do not exist.
  • Question claims that you are due money for goods or services that you haven’t ordered or are unaware of.
  • Do not be put under pressure to pay a fee quickly.
  • Be aware of recovery scams if you have been a victim in the past.
  • Genuine agencies never ask for fees to recover money lost to fraudsters.