GOOSTREY resident John Williams is urging fellow villagers to be on their guard for fraudsters posing as long-time friends.

A fraudster tried to persuade John to send £500 by purchasing a gift card, but fortunately he was not taken in.

However he is keen to alert people to the scam, fearing some people might by tricked into parting with their money.

He said: “Please watch out for fraudsters using a friend's name they have stolen from Messenger attempting to ‘borrow’ money either directly through a credit/debit card or through purchasing an Amazon gift card.

“One fraudster posing as a long-time friend and colleague tried to persuade me to send £500 by purchasing a gift card from Martin McColl’s and then sending a picture of it via Messenger which is as good as cash.”

He said the fraud was easy to spot by anyone alert to these scammers, but he was concerned some people could be taken in especially because the request came via Messenger.

He added: “Their usual spiel is to say they need some cash urgently and could you either send details of your card or go to a ‘grocery store or McColl's’ for the gift card.

“It is obvious by the language they use they are not a native English speaker, and are probably operating from abroad.

“Be alert if someone who is already a friend asks to be a friend on Facebook - it will be a fraudster who has stolen the identity of your friend.”