POLICE have issued a warning to prevent people falling foul of fake loans.

Officers from Forth Valley have taken a number of reports of a new type of personal loan fraud over the past couple of weeks.

It's understood these have involved people applying for small personal loans with internet-based loan companies.

When approved, victims are contacted and asked to pay up-front insurance payments before the funds are released.

These are requested via gift vouchers, normally in the form of iTunes or similar, and, once this is done, no loan is provided.

Forth Valley Police warned on social media: "Scammers continue to try to exploit gift cards in their scams, due to the anonymity they provide compared to bank transfers.

"At this time of year, fraudsters will also try to take advantage of the financially-vulnerable by operating fake ‘low credit score’ loan websites.

"We continue to ask people to be extremely careful when looking for money-lending services and be aware that a reputable company will never ask for payment in gift cards."