Warning after Home Office scam targets Edinburgh residents

Published 01 August 2019

Police in Edinburgh are urging people to be vigilant following recent frauds involving scammers targeting foreign nationals.

On 15th and 31st July, two residents on visas have reported being contacted by someone who claimed to be from the Home Office and who alleged that they were under investigation.

They were then told their options were to immediately return to India, be held in UK Border Force custody, or pay a sum of money for a temporary visa to remain in the UK until the matter is resolved.

On both occasions, the call appears to have been made by a genuine Home Office number and one of the men has received a call from '999' when he hasn't answered.

Collectively, the men have being scammed out of over £1,000.

PC Rachel Lumsden of Corstorphine Police Station said: "Scammers are known to use highly sophisticated techniques to make a call seem legitimate.

"They employ scare tactics to pressure or manipulate people into sending money or providing personal details. Remain vigilant and always be cautious if you receive an unexpected demand for payment.

"If you get a call of this nature, hang up immediately. The Home Office will never ask for money over the telephone and only uses reputable, secure payment services."

Those with information about this scam can contact Police Scotland on 101, or report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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