Horse & Hound advertisers are warned to be on their guard against fraudsters pretending to be H&H staff.

H&H has received a number of calls from people who have been contacted by scammers asking for their credit card details. They sound genuine and claim the initial payment for a Horse & Hound advert has failed to go through. Victims then find money missing from their account.

The calls often target people who have included their name in the advert. In the most recent cases the scammer has claimed to be H&H classified manager Leila Kojouri, which gives them greater authenticity.

“A woman called saying she was from H&H and that there had been an issue with the payment,” said Janet Morley, who was a victim.

“I had no reason to believe they weren’t from H&H, so I foolishly handed over my [bank] details.

“I mentioned there was a small error in the advert and she said she’d give me a free advert the following week. Alarm bells rang when the advert wasn’t in the next issue and money went out of my account.

“Fortunately I’ve got the money back [from my bank], but it was a lot of hassle and caused some distress.”

Leila Kojouri, H&H classified sales manager, urged advertisers to be vigilant.

“If anyone calls you asking for payment details, end the call then call us back on 0800 731 0616. This is a freephone number so it won’t cost you any extra. Please don’t be caught out.”