Public warned of surge in online scams this summer


Online scammers are putting the finishing touches to scams intended to target millions of Scots, according to a new report from police, banks and security organisations.

Holidays, tickets to major sporting and musical events and unsolicited emails are the three main targets for fraudsters, according to Police Scotland, the Scottish Business Resilience Center (SBRC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The organizations have put their name to a new guide providing practical advice to ensure Scots don’t get burned by the latest scams on the market.

Online fraud and scams in Scotland have increased by 69% since 2011/12 according to the latest Scotland Recorded Crime Survey . In response, the Little book of big scams warns of 19 types of scams to watch out for, along with practical advice on how to spot them and what to do if you fall victim to them.

The three main areas are:

  • Holiday fraud – online scammers are exploiting this summer’s pressures on the travel industry, coupled with Scots’ desire for a sunny break.
  • Ticket fraud – with sporting and music events back on the agenda, people need to know where to buy their tickets, so they don’t end up empty-handed.
  • Fraudulent mail – individuals may be lured into the post or email by the thrill of an incredible offer or contest, usually targeting the elderly or vulnerable.

Deputy Chief Constable Gary Ritchie, of Police Scotland, said: ‘New scams are constantly popping up, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing businesses and individuals fall into the trap.

“The impact can be emotional as well as financial, so I urge everyone to download and share the guide with family and friends, so they know what to do and who to contact if they are victims of fraud this summer.”

Jude McCorry, Chief Executive of SBRC, commented: “The travel and tourism sectors are still recovering from the pandemic, as evidenced by what we have seen recently with delays and cancellations due to staffing issues.

“The scammers seek to take advantage of potential travelers who have been left behind and are looking for quick fixes.”

Judith Cruickshank, Regional Managing Director at RBS, added: “Research has shown that scams are becoming more prevalent, but many of us think we’re savvy when it comes to online fraud, but scammers are using increasingly sophisticated measures to deceive people. unsuspecting people.”

Anyone who thinks they have been scammed should contact their bank immediately on an official phone number, such as the one on a bank statement or bank/credit card.

The guide also covers online and ATM fraud, door-to-door scams, and romance/dating fraud. To report a crime in Scotland, it is advisable to call 101.

Earlier this year, SBRC and RBS formalized a partnership whereby the bank is offering access to cybersecurity workshops delivered by SBRC to its corporate and commercial clients following a marked increase in cyber security incidents. cybersecurity, as detailed by the National Center for Cybersecurity.

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