Galashiels among areas affected by police impersonation scam

GALASHIELS is one of a number of areas in Scotland affected by scammers posing as police officers, officials say.

More than £300,000 has been defrauded from victims in incidents across the country, police say.

Between October and January, over 30 reports were received from members of the public, who were visited or contacted by individuals claiming to be officers of Police Scotland.

Each time, the victim was contacted by phone by someone claiming to be from a bank fraud service and informed them that their bank account had been compromised.

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They were then told to either transfer money remotely to another online account or go to a bank and withdraw the money, which would then be collected by a police officer.

Superintendent Hilary Sloan, of the Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing Division, said: ‘Although there are a number of ways the police may seek to contact you, please be aware of this scam. and always beware of any unexpected contact.

“If you receive such a call or visit, ask for the contact details of the agent and the department for which he works. If contact is by phone, hang up and if possible use another phone to contact the police service via 101, where you will speak to genuine members of Police Scotland and can request a police officer check.

“We have begun a nationwide rollout of new ID cards, which feature an up-to-date photo of the officer, along with other key information and various security enhancements that make them extremely difficult to duplicate. This rollout began in October 2021 and all police officers should be able to provide this ID when performing legitimate policing activities.

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“If you receive an email claiming to be from Police Scotland with a link to an external site to make a payment, this may also be fraudulent. Be aware of phishing scams and verify that any link provided is genuine. If you receive anything claiming to be from us asking for some form of payment, contact us via 101 to investigate the matter before parting with your money.

“We treat this ongoing scam very seriously and have officers across the country pursuing various lines of investigation.”

The districts of North Berwick and Dumfries are among other places targeted by scammers.

Those with information can contact Police Scotland via 101. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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