A local couple looking to rent their dream home in the town almost became the victims of scammers pretending to be vacant property owners.

The scammers used property listed for rental online to contact the couple through Facebook in order to obtain personal details and identification documents from the pair and almost succeeded in extorting £2000.

The couple became suspicious when the “owner” was unable to offer them a viewing of the property prior to moving in and insisted upon payment of deposit before the keys would be “couriered” to them.

Upon speaking to the online agents it became apparent that the individual they were in contact with was not the owner of the property, but by this point they had already forwarded a great deal of personal information to the scammer, including copies of their passports.

A number of other potential renters in the town have reported receiving the same messages via Facebook, with some going as far as sending deposits to the scammers.