Slam door on the scam­mers

PO­LICE WARN THAT AR­GYLL PEO­PLE ARE BE­ING CONNED OUT OF THOU­SANDS OF POUNDS EV­ERY DAY OF THE WEEK

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

LOUISE GLEN of scams at the mo­ment. ‘Peo­ple should know that if it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true,’ ex­plained PC Mac­Beth.

In the past few weeks a num­ber of par­tic­u­larly de­vi­ous yet plau­si­ble scams have come to light.

In Oban, a woman who be­friended a ‘ vul­ner­a­ble man’ over many months, asked him to cash four cheques to another UK ac­count.

Four Amer­i­can Ex­press cheques ar­rived each for £2,500. The man trans­ferred the money only to find out a few days later that his bank ac­count had been sus­pended.

A male char­ity vol­un­teer was caught out when a man took money from his bank ac­count af­ter gain­ing ac­cess to his com­puter. The scam­mer said he was sort­ing out prob­lems with the ma­chine.

Free selling web­sites can also be a source of prob­lems.

One man in Oban paid £ 5,000 for a new trailer for his pick-up truck only to dis­cover that he had been the vic­tim of fraud when the trailer and the seller couldn’t be traced af­ter he had de­posited the money in the man’s ac­count.

‘Count­less’ peo­ple in the last few weeks have paid for work from peo­ple who turn up on their doorsteps.

These ‘ work­men’ turned out to be scam­ming the old and vul­ner­a­ble out of cash for work that was de­scribed as ‘ very poor’ by trad­ing stan­dards.

PC Mac­Beth con­tin­ued: ‘If it was me, I would trust the clas­si­fied sec­tion in the Oban Times more than I would trust a ran­dom web­site.

‘There are peo­ple out there who want to take your money off you. It is or­gan­ised crime - peo­ple are set­ting out to de­fraud you.’

PC MacMil­lan, who is de­scribed as an ‘online ex­pert’, said he is al­ways amazed at the many dif­fer­ent ways the scam­mers use to take de­fraud peo­ple.

He added: ‘Sell and buy things in per­son and not online. It is by far the safer way to do things.

‘Peo­ple need to be aware of the dan­gers. While many scams hap­pen over the phone or the in­ter­net, things can hap­pen in per­son as well.’

Dis­cussing who is com­mit­ting the crimes, PC MacMil­lan said: ‘In cases we deal with, the ma­jor­ity are from Asia or West Africa for in­ter­net fraud, but it can be any­one at any time.

‘Don’t get drawn into any­thing - take your time mak­ing de­ci­sions about part­ing with your bank in­for­ma­tion.

‘Doorstep sales­man should be re­fused un­less you have good ref­er­ences about their work. Peo­ple can be very pushy and ag­gres­sive on the doorstep.

‘Just say no, close the door and call the po­lice or trad­ing stan­dards if you need as­sis­tance.’

He added: ‘Never give your bank in­for­ma­tion out to any­one.

‘If your bank phones you, phone them back on the num­ber you have rather than the one the caller gives you - or go into your lo­cal branch.’

HANG UP: never give out bank in­for­ma­tion over the phone, no mat­ter how pushy the caller is

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