Tayside Police is asking people to be 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 investigating the report of a fraudulent website advertising 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 pay further sums of money to cover expenses such as insurance, travel costs and so on. Victims of this scam do not receive the animals they have paid for and can find themselves hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
Tayside Police ask that those looking to buy pets online to 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 of cash transfer in exchange for greater riches. While it is common practice to carry out transactions over the phone, we would advise people not to share financial details with a cold caller.
Personal information, including details such as when you may be at home should not be disclosed to a cold caller. Callers may be very convincing, but householders must keep in mind the fact that the person has put time and effort into rehearsing their lines with the hope of catching their victims out.
Be suspicious of all such 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 so you can check their credentials.
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