A RYEDALE businessman is warning people to be on their guard after he was the victim of a PPI fraud scam.

Doug Taylor, who owns Taylor’s Tiles in Kirkbymoorside, was contacted by a firm claiming he was owed £4,200 as part of a mis-sold payment protection insurance.

“The company had traced a business loan I took out in 2002 and had all the right dates and details,” he said.

“They said they had investigated and that I was due this money and that someone was in the area and they could call at my house with the money as cash or a cheque.

“I thought it was strange but decided to play along with it to see what happened,” he said.

Mr Taylor said he had been contacted again and told to obtain the money he needed to go to a PayPal point and get £300 of vouchers as payment to the firm for securing the PPI payment.

“I questioned why they could not take the cash out of the payment they were making me but they insisted they weren’t allowed to receive cash and it had to be these vouchers,” he said.

“By now I decided it was time to phone the police who put me in touch with the fraud squad and was told it was a scam and to have nothing more to do with it.”

Mr Taylor said he wanted to warn other people not to fall for a similar scam.

“I don’t know how they had all the information about me which was worrying,” he said.

“These firms are taking advantage of people and they need to be exposed.”

Steve Proffitt, head of Action Fraud, said: “People should be on their guard and not hand over any money until completely confident a company is legitimate.

“The best means of protecting yourself from advance fee fraud is to stop and consider the offer.

“Does it seem to be good to be true?

“Are you being promised considerable future gains for a relatively small upfront fee now?

“Are there obvious errors in the advertisement or offer?

“Never pay any money up front unless you know the organisation.

“Protect your bank details and don’t provide financial information over the phone or online.

“If people are concerned, they should phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

“The simple rule still remains true and that is if a call comes out of nowhere and seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it could be scam.”