The Pitlochry Neighborhood Watch is warning residents about festive scams online as the Christmas season begins.
Reports of counterfeit designer goods, fake gift cards and fraudulent winterwonder lands are already starting to kick in with the festive season.
Just this past month a woman in Dundee was sentenced to 12 months in prison for after selling thousands of pounds worth of fake designer goods from social media accounts online.
According to the Intellectual Property Office, 30% of Brits would knowingly buy counterfeit goods if they were sold at a fraction of the genuine price, Trading Standards Scotland argue that even though customers know its fake they don’t know ‘what conditions it’s stored in, what materials it contains or how safe it is.’
Other scammers are impersonating the CEO of Marks and Spencer’s in emails designed to deceive people into signing up for fake surveys and competitions with the aim of stealing information of them through dodgy links or social hacking.
And in one other case, scammers faked an entire ‘Winter Wonderland’ experience set in Stirling, so they had stolen the promotional material off one legitimate wonderland experience to pose as their own.
The Reindeer Lodge, which is based in Wales, was targeted by the scammers as the promotional front by stealing their images to set up a fake event advertised online as being in Blairlogie in Stirling.
They charged £12.99 per ticket which allowed for one car to drive through the non-existent event.
Now Police are advising that shoppers be weary of the authenticity of what they buy, whether it be gifts, tickets or vouchers.
They say to report anything which people find suspicious to Advice Direct Scotland to investigate further, they can be reached on 0808 164 6000.
Anyone who is the victim of fraud should report this to the police on the non-emergency number 101.