Gujarati-speaking people in the English city of Leicester have been targeted by a money transfer scam originating from Pakistan, local officials have warned.
The city has a large minority of Indian origin people, many of whom are Gujarati-speakers with roots in Gujarat.
Reports from Leicester say that officials have warned Gujarati-speaking people not be taken in by the scam that operates through the phone and asks unsuspecting victims to deposit money in a bank account via the Western Union money transfer.
City residents have reportedly been called by a man who claims they have won 50,000 pounds, but must deposit 275 pounds into a bank account via a Western Union transfer to access the money.
The caller identifies himself as Mohammed Musafa Khan, speaks in Gujarati and calls from a mobile traced to Pakistan, according to a report in the Leicester Mercury.
Local resident Chandra Parmar, who received such a call, said: “We knew straight away it was a scam but it is worrying because vulnerable people might not realise”.
Leicestershire County Council trading standards officers said it was the first time they had heard of a scam which used language.
Colin Hoskins, Trading Standards team leader, said: “This is this first time I have heard of them employing someone who speaks Gujarati to target Asian people”.
“We do not really stand a chance of catching them so our best defence is to educate people”.