POLICE say they have had several reports of a telephone scam which is targeting small business owners.

The caller claims to be from an agency working on a magazine for the police and is looking for local businesses to become sponsors.

Small business owners are reporting that the caller asks for £100 for an acknowledgement or advert to be included in the magazine, which allegedly supports policing issues such as keeping young people off the street and substance misuse.

A spokesman said: “We have not commissioned or put our support behind a magazine which requires sponsors or advertisers.

“The scam is being investigated by ActionFraud.”

What to do if you get a cold call:

• Never agree to something there and then – ask for a telephone number you can call them back on

• Do your research – check online to see if the company exists, read other people’s reviews and see if you can get a better quote elsewhere

• If they say they are working for the police, call 101 to make sure

• If in doubt, report it on 0300 123 2040 or to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06.