PEOPLE living in Cirencester are being warned to beware of an alleged scam following reports that a woman has been going around Cirencester knocking on doors and asking for money.

A number of worried residents in the town have contacted the police after a tearful and apparently distressed woman knocked on their doors and asked to be given or lent money.

The police have confirmed that they have had had around five incidents reported and are also aware of other people in the town being approached for money.

People living on Victoria Road and Bathurst Road, in Chesterton, and in other parts of the town said they have had a woman knocking on their door and asking for money for food, electricity or another urgent need.

Initially, concerned residents voiced their suspicions on social media sites and soon a recognisable pattern appeared.

One Facebook user said he answered his door to a woman in tears asking for £6 so she could buy electricity. Another user shared a similar story where a tearful woman had asked her for £8 for electricity, saying she had a small boy to care for.

Several people said they refused to give the unknown woman any money but others said they did hand over the cash, unaware it could be a scam.

One Facebook user admitted she gave the woman a five pound note and said that scam artists were “killing the goodwill of people who really would help those in need”.

A Chesterton resident, who did not want to be named, told the Standard that a woman knocked on her door in the evening a few weeks ago and asked if she could swap a voucher for cash.

“It was apparently a voucher for JD Sports,” said the woman, who lives on Bathurst Road.

“She said she had a baby and the Tesco cash machine had just eaten her card and she had no food. She asked if I would buy her voucher for cash.

“I didn’t trust her and thought it was a set-up so I said no. I had never seen her before and I haven’t seen her since.”

A spokesman for Cirencester police said officers believed the woman was lying about her situation.

“We can reassure residents we are investigating this case and have identified a suspect who we intend to interview under caution,” he said. “We advise people not to give the woman any money.”