Detectives from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch are advising the public to be cautious if approached to cash cheques on someone else's behalf.
The fraud is believed to have originated in West Africa.
Criminals are duping innocent members of the public into cashing stolen or counterfeit cheques made out for euros.
Police have received reports of the scam from many areas of Northern Ireland.
The fraudsters have placed adverts on websites and in newspapers offering jobs as ‘Mystery Shoppers’.
Applicants are asked to submit personal information. The victims are then sent cheques which will either be stolen or counterfeit. They are instructed to lodge the cheques, keep an amount for themselves and to forward the balance via a money transfer service.
Any customers who cash these cheques will ultimately suffer a loss as the cheques will be picked up as either stolen or counterfeit and will not be honoured. However, the victims will have sent money on to the fraudsters — money which they may not get back.
Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of this type of fraud, or who has suspicions about an unknown source asking for assistance with cheques, should immediately call their local police on 0845 600 8000.