Aug 23 2012 by Stephen Lowson, Blairgowrie Adv
TAYSIDE Police is asking people to be extremely cautious about providing personal and financial details following a variety of scams that target people via telephone, e-mail and by text messaging.
Police are currently investigating reports of a fraudulent website advertising a variety of pets for sale, which requests an initial payment to be made via Western Union to an address in Cameroon.
Contact is made via text messaging and email and the fraudsters insist customers must pay further sums of money to cover various expenses. Those who engage in this scam do not receive the animals they have paid for and victims can find themselves hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
Tayside Police advise that those looking to buy pets online should verify the authenticity of the sellers and insist on being allowed to see the animals prior to parting with any money.
Householders and businesses have also reported receiving unsolicited calls from people who claim to be from well-known, reputable companies, or financial institutions. Details that have been requested can include cardholder’s name, card numbers, passwords and card expiry dates.
Other scams have requested their victims to send cash in advance, whether by voucher, cheque or cash transfer in exchange for greater riches. Do not fall for their false promises.
While it is common practice to carry out transactions over the phone, people should not to share financial details with a cold caller. Personal information, including simple details such as when you may or may not be at home should not be disclosed. Such callers may be very convincing, but householders must keep in mind that the scammer has put time and effort into rehearsing their lines with the hope of catching their victims out.
Be suspicious of all such cold calls and always make every effort to ensure that the person at end of the line is who they claim to be, represent who they claim to represent and are legitimate and reputable. If you are unsure, take details of their company and check their credentials. You can even take a number with a view to checking out their details and calling the company they say they are from at a later time using a number you have obtained independently.
Above all else if you have concerns of suspicions hang up and contact the police on 0300 111 2222. Action Fraud provides a great deal of advice in relation to all types of fraud and advice about how to avoid becoming a victim of the fraudster. For further information see – www.actionfraud.org.uk.