Warning and advice following fraud-related crime in Ayrshire
Published 19 May 2020
Detective Superintendent Kenny Armstrong, of Ayrshire CID, is urging local communities to be vigilant following reports of fraud-related crime in the region.
He said: “There is evidence to suggest that criminals are exploiting the current health crisis to commit crimes of fraud, playing on the vulnerability of people in the area and the lack of social contact with others.
“These criminals are targeting potential victims with emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages, winning their trust and confidence and then exploiting that trust to defraud victims of their money.
“Messages sent by these scammers can look very professional and equally legitimate but I am reminding everyone that these are just a front – behind them are full scale fraudulent operations targeting victims’ life savings.
“Similarly, we are receiving reports of cold callers turning up at people’s front doors. These cold callers can also appear professional and genuine but I must urge you to be sceptical. Do not feel pressured into making a decision on the spot as any legitimate trader or helper won’t mind rearranging to return at a later date.
“We want to make sure the people of Ayrshire are kept safe and informed. Please do not feel embarrassed if you think you have been the victim of fraud. I would encourage you to report the matter to police as soon as it happens so that we can investigate promptly.
“I would also ask you to look out for other members of your community during these challenging times. Please speak to elderly or vulnerable family and friends to advise them of these types of crimes and reduce their likelihood of falling prey to these scams.”
We have provided a helpful list to protect you from becoming a victim of fraud:
- Never provide any personal data such as your full name, address, date of birth or passwords – scammers can use this information to steal your identity
- Be vigilant and on guard if someone turns up at your door unexpectedly. If in doubt, don’t answer the door
- Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity
- Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for or offering help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you
- Don’t be afraid to say “No thank you” and close your door
- Don’t be pressured into donating money, and never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram
- Remember, it’s your home. There is no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes
To report a crime call 101 or in an emergency 999.
More information on dealing with scams and fraud is available from Police Scotland's partner sites, which can offer further information, support and advice:
- If you have concerns about a purchase you have made, contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or www.advice.scot
- Get to know some of the most common fraud techniques in
- Want advice on your consumer rights? Contact on 0808 164 6000
- Are you a victim or witness to a crime looking for free, confidential support? Call on 0800 160 1985
- To report a matter to , call 0808 164 6000
- Report scammers and fraudsters ANONYMOUSLY to or call 0800 555 111
- offers help and advice on assisting the aged and disabled to feel safe and secure in their homes
- The can help cut out unwanted sales, spam and scam phone calls