POLICE in North Yorkshire are urging shoppers to be wary of fraudsters in the run-up to Christmas after being made aware of an online voucher scam.

Over the past week, Facebook users on the North Yorkshire Police Fraud Awareness page have been warned about a fraudulent website that is promoting £50 vouchers to people in return for sharing posts and completing online forms.

The website asks for details ranging from a name and an email address, to asking for proof of ID and bank details.

It then states that the voucher is not available and the value will instead be paid in to the person’s bank account.

The vouchers currently being shared are falsely claiming to be from Morrisons and Tesco and police are urging people not to share these posts online or interact with the website.

PCSO Nathan Stuart, a fraud ambassador for North Yorkshire Police, has been sharing advice on Facebook in an attempt to stop people falling victim to the scam.

He said: “These vouchers are not real and they are not connected to any of the supermarkets that they claim to be.

“If you consider that 10,000 people could share the post in just an hour, the supermarkets would effectively be handing out half a million pounds which is ludicrous.

“As always, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

PCSO Stuart added: “The fraudsters use this type of phishing scam to obtain details of people for use in criminality.

"Unwittingly, if you provide your details, they can be sold between criminals and used to further attempt to take your money or can be used in identity theft.

“Please do everything you can to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud, especially at this time of year when people can be tempted by Black Friday or Cyber Monday offers that will be coming up as we head towards Christmas.”

Scammers have become increasingly inventive in their methods of conning people out of cash and the Christmas shopping period represents an opportunity for them to capitalise on the genuine offers being made by retailers.

Police have been made aware of fraudsters latching onto legitimate websites such as mobile phone companies and encouraging users to click through a window to 'win' Argos vouchers.

Because the bogus offer pops up on the genuine website, the scam appears to be legitimate but police are urging people not to be taken in by it.

Other online scams currently doing the rounds include a bogus ' Amazon Black Friday Deals' giveaway and an Apple ID scam where mobile phone users are encouraged to 'sign in' to account after being told it has been locked.