TRADING standards officers are warning people seeking a loan to be wary of a new advance fee scam originating in Canada.

Consumers who respond to these newspaper adverts are told that their loan has been agreed, but they first have to pay for insurance with a money order via Western Union on Money Gram. They never hear from the company again.

Angela Lomax, Bury's principal trading standards officer, said: "Any type of offer where you have to send money up front is usually a scam and people should make further checks before paying out."

Customers who have been stung should tell the Office of Fair Trading on 08457 224499.