THREE Huntingdonshire residents have been duped out of hundreds of pounds in a ‘particularly nasty’ Internet scam.

The victims, two from St Neots and another from Huntingdon, were called after searching for online loans. They were told to pay the first instalment before they would receive any money.

They all paid the money but called Cambridgeshire police when the loans didn't materialise.

Detective Sergeant Claire Hewson said: "This is particularly nasty as the victims are often struggling financially which is why they have resorted to these apparent legitimate companies.

"The scam is run under a number of different names, however on investigation the addresses do not exist or the company is not based within the premises stated. The names used are constantly changing. The Internet sites appear to be run by legitimate companies based in the UK but this is not the case.

"The actual offenders are thought to be based abroad and the whole process is completed via the Internet and over the telephone."