Sex scam gangs target students
Chief Inspector Gill Boulton
I want to take the opportunity to revisit a topic I covered a few months ago as this is very much still affecting residents across the area.
Gift-card or rebate fraud occurs in circumstances in which victims are contacted by phone or email by individuals claiming to be from a legitimate source such as banks, building societies or government departments such as HMRC or the Home Office.
Victims are asked to pay an overdue account or to settle an outstanding tax bill by the means of purchasing giftcards or iTunes vouchers and most recently this has included Google Play cards.
Alternatively people are asked to provide bank details in order they may receive a refund.
Please remember legitimate companies or bodies will never ask for payment in this way and if you are in any doubt as to the veracity of someone who has contacted you, stop all communication and contact the institution or department using a number you have obtained from official paperwork, website or phonebook.
We are very fortunate that in Stirling area supermarkets and retail outlets that sell such gift cards are aware of this scam and are particularly helpful in contacting police if they believe someone trying to make a bulk purchase of cards has been targeted in this way.
A short video explaining the scam has been made and can be accessed via https://youtu.be/yRBjwNIQFHs
We have seen a number of recent incidents involving what is commonly known as‘sextortion’.
This type of scam is typically aimed at younger men who are targeted by organised crime groups, usually based overseas.
They seek to extort money from them by luring victims to perform explicit sexual acts on social media.
If they do so, the victim is then threatened that if they do not pay hundreds of pounds through money service bureaus, the footage will be posted online and sent to friends and family.
As a result of the age group involved, students at Stirling University have been targeted recently and we continue to work with the university to highlight the crime type and provide advice and information for all students.
Please stay safe online and if you would like more information on how to spot scams and avoid becoming a victim of fraud please visit ncsc.gov.uk or actionfraud.police.uk