People in Peterborough are being warned of a scam where criminals phone up pretending to be from Trading Standards.
A local resident took a call from someone who said they had a cheque to deliver as a result of a court claim, but required a cheque for £200 for administrative costs.
The consumer was told that a courier would call to collect the cheque personally.
Peterborough City Council has issued a statement saying: "No Trading Standards department would operate in this way and consumers are warned not to be taken in by this scam."
The authority has told people never to give personal details, including their address, to anyone offering money in return for an advance payment.
Anyone who wants advice can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Line on 08454 040506