Police in Ayrshire have issued a series of tips on how to spot 'payment in advance' fraud. 

This scam occurs when you are convinced to pay an upfront fee to receive a prize/service, high-value goods or loans that never materialise.

Police have now given out advice on how to spot the scams, and how to keep yourself and your money safe. 

A spokesperson said: "You’re asked to pay an upfront fee to receive money, a prize/service or goods that you weren’t expecting.

"You’re asked to pay an upfront fee for training or a background check for a job that may not exist.

"You’re told that fees are fully refundable and will be used as a deposit, admin charge or for insurance.

"There are follow-up fees you need to pay to secure a loan, prize/service or goods, and you are put under pressure to pay quickly by wire, bank transfer or cryptocurrency."

If you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately at a number you know to be correct.

Then report it to Police Scotland by calling 101, or advice.scot on 0808 164 6000.