FRAUDSTERS have cheated an 86-year-old East Lothian man out of nearly £2,000.

The man, who lives in Haddington, was contacted by phone and told that he had won a large sum of money on a lottery, but had to pay money in advance before he could receive the prize.

The man’s family contacted police upon discovering that a cheque had been cashed. Police enquiries are ongoing and contact has been made with the banks involved.

Inspector Andy Hill of Haddington Police Station said: "Scams such as this are known as advance fee frauds.

"Victims can be targeted by phone, email or letter, and the perpetrators are very skilled at developing the contact and encouraging the victims, who are at times vulnerable, to part with money.

"It is a particularly callous crime and those responsible are often working from outwith the country.

"I would urge anyone who may receive such an approach not to respond to their requests to send money, and give appropriate advice to any family member who is found to be engaging with any such requests."

Such scams can be reported to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, on 0300 123 2040 or via their online form at