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Public Warned to Be Cautious of Cyber Scammers in the Run up to Christmas

28,000 pounds is lost to bank transfer scams every hour

Police Scotland’s Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team and the Perth and Kinross Community Watch are warning the public over the increased risk of cyber scammers in the run up to Christmas.

November marks the start of the period where online stores and other retailers will begin advertising deals and sending emails out to those on their mailing list. However amongst the genuine emails there are more likely to be fake ones sent out in huge numbers by cyber criminals.

The warning bulletin sent out at the beginning of the month says: “November marks the starting point for many people to begin festive shopping and as much as we are preparing and looking at online deals, be in no doubt that the scammers are prepared with a mix of scams.

“These scams will include phishing emails and texts with links to dodgy websites and to cheap “to good to be true deals” and last minute offers on limited stock, perhaps with a sales pressure message ‘10 people have purchased this item in the last five minutes’ all in an attempt to scam you of your money.

“Of course, not all messages are bad, but if something doesn’t feel right, if you have that element of doubt as to the authenticity of the email, text or website, follow the NCSC  guidance on dealing with suspicious emails and text messages.”

The National Cyber Security Centre(NCSC) have a website dedicated to help the public spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls. They explain that it only takes a minute to report the scam and by doing so you can reduce the amount of scam communications you receive, make yourself a harder target for scammers and help protect others.

The warning goes on to explain that it’s important to do your research and ensure the retailer you are dealing with is genuine and that if you are unsure, instead of using the link provided in the email or text search for the company yourself.

For help spotting and reporting scams visit the NCSC website https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/phishing-scams, they also have information available to help you shop securely online. You can find this information at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/shopping-online-securely.

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