Neighbourhood Watch alerts
Missing Teenager Sara Findlay From Ayr 15/3/19
Officers at Ayr are appealing for information on the whereabouts of Sara Findlay (18) who was reported to police yesterday as missing since Friday 1st March 2019.
She is believed to be in the company of her male friend and was last seen on 10th March in Gorgie Road in Edinburgh.
She is described as white, 5ft 2 inches in height and of slim build with collar-length brown hair. She has a number of piercings in her lips and nose and when last seen she was wearing a black jacket, black hooded top, black trousers, black boots and a black hat.
Anyone with information on Sara’s whereabouts is asked to contact Ayr Police Office through 101 quoting reference number 2900 of 13 March 2019.
Below is a picture of Sara:
Scam Warning - Fake Tv Licensing Emails 14/3/19
An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers. Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV Licensing emails that are designed to steal their personal and financial information. Since April 2018, Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports with victim losses totalling more than £830,000.
How you can protect yourself:
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim:
Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Sim Swap Fraud 7/3/19
The following information was recently circulated by Police Scotland
Police Scotland is warning members of the public to be aware of a fraud which has recently resurfaced. A local resident was victim to a mobile telephone SIM fraud which resulted in the loss of a four figure sum of money. This is often referred to as SIM swap, SIM split or SIM interception attack.
The first thing that can alert a victim of this type of fraud is that no service is available on their mobile telephone. The fraudsters bank on the fact that the owner of the mobile telephone does not question this for some time allowing sufficient time to commit the fraud. Only when contacting their respective service provider they discover that their number has been changed claiming a lost or damaged phone was the reason for the new SIM being issued.
Action Fraud provide the following information and advice:
Fraudsters in the UK purchase victim’s personal details that are obtained through the spread of Trojan malware. Victims detail packages are purchased from overseas criminals specialising in the collection of compromised personal data to sell.
Specific data is extracted, namely online bank account details and statements. Using the victim’s banking details to gain telephone access to the bank account; the fraudster then opens a parallel business account in the victim’s name. Opening a business account is subject to less stringent security checks once an individual already has a current account with a bank and helps make any transfers of money in the future less suspicious.
Details of the victim’s mobile phone, again extracted from the purchased personal data package, are then passed to an individual who specialises in the SIM Split step.
This SIM Splitter then:
•Uses the bank statement obtained through the hacking to establish the mobile network the victim belongs to;
•Uses open source searches using the victim’s details to ascertain potential answers to security questions;
•Uses open source searches to establish the mobile phone network provider;
•Obtains a blank SIM card, either through an insider at a phone company or by purchasing one;
•Contacts the phone provider and tells them that the mobile phone has been lost/damaged;
•The new SIM card is activated while the victim’s is cancelled;
•Contact details and security questions may be changed with the phone provider as to further frustrate and hinder the victim from reporting the fraud.
As soon as the SIM card is activated the SIM Splitter contacts the fraudsters and tells them to transfer funds from the victim’s current account into the newly set up business account.
As a security measure the banks will often make a call or send a text to the phone number registered to the account to confirm if the transaction is genuine. The SIM Splitter agrees to the transfer when contacted and disposes of the SIM card afterwards so not to be traced.
The fraudsters can then withdraw or transfer funds away from the business account with a lower level of scrutiny whilst maintaining a certain level of access and control of the account with the stolen details.
Please click on the following link for information on how to protect yourself against fraud: www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/identity-theft-fraud-and-scams
Gift Card Scam 27/2/19
During February 2019 a further incident has been reported to Police Scotland whereby a voicemail was left on the victim’s phone stating that they were owed a large amount of PPI. The victim returned the call and spoke to a male who said that they required an admin fee of £200 to be made by purchasing Google Play or Steam Cards.
The victim attended their local supermarket to purchase the cards then called back to provide the codes. The caller then asked for a tax fee of £500 to be paid before the PPI could be released. The victim returned to their local supermarket, purchased the cards, called the fictitious PPI company and were told that the claim would be delivered in person within 30 minutes. No PPI was paid.
This scam has been reported to RAC since August 2016. Members of the public have been contacted by phone and advised that they have an outstanding debt to a Government agency such as HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) or DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) & more recently requesting amounts to be paid to unlock a PPI claim.
The scammers request payment via ITunes Vouchers or Store Gift Cards and more recently Google Play or Steam Cards. The scammers do not require to have physical control over the card merely the identifiable code on the rear to have control of the cash amount. The victim is instructed to reveal the identifier code to the scammer and incidents have been reported of victims being scammed out of thousands of pounds at a time.
In the past victims have been threatened with being arrested by the caller. Supermarkets have been very proactive in their efforts to take preventative measures to safeguard their elderly and vulnerable customers. Please circulate and raise awareness of this scam. If you have or you know someone who has been targeted please contact the police on 101.
PLEASE NOTE: VARIOUS OTHER GIFT CARDS CAN ALSO BE USED.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme Alert 21/2/19
Action Fraud have received several reports where fraudsters are claiming to be landlords of properties offered for rent online. Prior to a viewing the suspect requests that the individuals pay a deposit and sometimes a month’s rent upfront, claiming that this money will be put into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and is therefore protected under government legislation.
After the individual pays the money, the suspect sends a bogus email purporting to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received their deposit. However, this is not the case as the money was sent directly to an account associated with the suspect and the victim is left out of pocket and without the home they had thought to be putting a deposit on.
What You Need To Do
Always make sure you, or a reliable contact, has viewed the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent a property.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Only transfer funds when you’re satisfied a genuine property, safety certificates and valid contract are in place.
Only pay for goods or service by bank transfer if you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.
Once you’ve paid your deposit, you can check whether it’s protected by entering your tenancy deposit certificate code on TDS website (www.tenancydepositscheme.com).
Bogus Workmen 13/2/19
We have had an increase in incidents of bogus workmen/doorstep crime in different areas of Edinburgh. We ask residents to be mindful of anyone attending at their front door offering services and always ask to see ID before allowing entry.
A male purporting to be a window cleaner has recently been apprehended and charged in the Crewe Road South area of Edinburgh.
If you hear or see anyone acting suspiciously in your area please phone Police on 101 or if you believe there to be a crime in progress, 999. Alternatively you can also report incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers at 0800555111.
Recent Scams - Advice 7/2/19
Following recent reported incidents of Scams relative to HM Customs and Excise, personal pensions, financial investments, DVLA, TV Licencing etc. NWS have issued the following general advice:
Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. You can always call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book to check if you’re not sure.
Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number). Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering business or financial deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.
Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
Remember, email addresses and phone numbers can be spoofed, so don't use those as a means to verify that a message or call is authentic.
The best way to get in touch with a company is to use a known email or phone number, such as the one on the back of your bank card, bank statement, official website or telephone directory.
Listen to your instincts and be wary of unsolicited calls, emails or online ads offering deals that sound too good to be true.
Genuine banks, or other trusted organisations, won't pressure you into making a financial transaction, if something feels wrong then it's usually right to question.
Get further advice
Further detailed advice is available on the following Action Fraud link:
If you are the victim of any type of Scam please contact Police Scotland on 101 or follow the advice on the Action Fraud link as above.
Please forward this information on to family, friends, neighbours and colleagues
Cyberaware - Prevent Ransomware Attacks 10/1/19
is a document which will give you tips and advice on how to prevent your computers / laptops being attacked by Ransonware.
When criminals use computer software to gain access to computers to access / remove valuable data in the hope to extract payment form the victims.
Although usually associated with businesses, private individuals can also be attacked.
Web sites offering further information are also included.
I hope you find this information useful and of course please pass it on to any friends or relatives.
Samantha Campbell (Police, Constable, Edinburgh)
HM Revenue and Customs Alert 7/1/19
What you need to know
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.
The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.
If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.
It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.
What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.
Appeal for missing person - John Scott
Forth Valley Police have circulated the following information
We are looking for information to trace John Scott, who has been missing from Denny for the past week.
John has only recently moved to the Falkirk area having lived previously in Glenboig.
The 37 year old was last seen leaving The Royal Infirmary in Glasgow about 12.30pm on Tuesday 20th of November.
Inquiries have led officers to believe that John left in his grey Hyundai i20 car registration SH11 FWX and his destination is as yet unknown. There have been no further sightings.
He is described as 6ft tall, medium build, short fair coloured hair, stubble. Last seen wearing denim jeans, a grey jumper, black jacket and white baseball cap with a black skip.
Those with information can contact Falkirk Police Station via 101 and quote the incident number 3878 of the 21st of November.
The following link contains an image of the missing person.
Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam, 29/10/18
Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims' password to install spying malware on the victims' computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.
What to do if you get one of these emails?
Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.
If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.
How To Keep The Cyber-Criminals Out 25/10/18
Cyber-criminals use weaknesses in software and apps to attack your devices and steal your identity. Software updates are designed to fix these weaknesses and installing them as soon as possible will keep your devices & data secure.
Software updates don’t have to get in the way of what you’re doing. You can choose to install them at night, when your device is plugged in and connected to wi-fi. You can also configure most devices to automatically install software and app updates.
For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk or follow @Cyberprotectuk on Twitter.
Phishing Scam 12/10/18
Police Scotland are raising awareness of a new form of phishing email which is targeting companies and organisations in relation to recruitment and job vacancies.
Phishing is when an attacker encourages someone to do 'the wrong thing', for example: disclose sensitive information, click on a link or download a piece of malicious software (malware). Phishing is more commonly carried out via email and social media but can also take place via telephone and text message.
These recent attacks have seen companies receive emails containing CV’s in response to job adverts, but clicking on the attached document allows the system to be compromised and may result in malware being downloaded onto their network, often in the form of Ransomware.
We would encourage all users to ensure their security software is up-to-date and that their data is backed up regularly. Companies should also remain vigilant when dealing with any unsolicited emails or visiting websites that they are not familiar with.
If you are the victim of any type of cybercrime please contact Police Scotland on 101, and for more information on Phishing and Ransomware and what you can do to protect yourself, please visit the National Cyber Security Centre website at:
Watch out for these fake Argos texts offering refunds 7/7/18
These fake text messages purport to be from Argos and claim that you’re owed a refund. The link in the messages lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal information, as well as payment details.
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
Sgn - Major Gas Replacement Work - Edinburgh
SGN – Gas Network Upgrade – Edinburgh City 7/7/18
As part of an ongoing project to upgrade the gas network in the area, we’ll shortly begin work in Duddingston (crossroads) area, Edinburgh.
This essential work involves replacing old, metal gas mains with new plastic pipe, which has a minimum lifespan of 80 years, to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply for the local area.
Following discussions with The City of Edinburgh Council, the work will begin on Monday 9 July and last for approximately 10 weeks. We’ve split this section of our project into two phases to help minimise disruption.
Phase one – approximately six weeks
During phase one we’ll be working at the junction of Willowbrae Road, Milton Road West, Duddingston Road West and Duddingston Road. The existing lights will be replaced with three-way temporary traffic lights, and Duddingston Road will be closed at its junction with Willowbrae Road. We’ll be manually controlling the lights during peak travel times to help reduce disruption.
Access for residents will be maintained at all times, and a signed diversion route will be in place via Milton Road West, Mountcastle Drive South and Duddingston Road.
Phase two – approximately four weeks
During this phase, Duddingston Road West will be reduced to two lanes. Motorists can still travel in both directions. To allow our engineers to work safely, Meadowfield Avenue will be closed at its junction with Duddingston Road West.
We understand this is a busy route and will be working extended hours, 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, and weekends where required.
We always aim to minimise disruption and we will make every effort to ensure our works are completed as soon as possible. If you have any specific enquiries about this project, please call SGN on 0131 469 1728 during office hours 8am – 4pm or 0800 912 1700 and our SGN customer service team will be happy to help.
Please share this information with your colleagues, stakeholders and anyone who may be impacted by our work.
Phantom Debt Fraud Alert 1/2/2018
Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent. The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt.
The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest. From the reports Action Fraud has received, this type of fraud is presently occurring throughout the UK.
It is important to recognise that there are key differences between the various entities who seek to settle debts or outstanding fees in England and Wales. These differences range from the type of debt they will enforce to the legal powers they possess. To learn more, please take a look at some of the helpful information and links on the Step Change Debt Charity website; https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-collection/bailiffs-and-debt-collectors-differences.aspx
Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you.
If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal.
If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent.
Exercise caution believing someone is genuine because you’ve found something on the internet; fraudsters could easily create fake online profiles to make you believe them.
Double check with the court, company or public body they claim to work for to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the caller could still be on the line and you could potentially speak to the fraudster(s) to confirm the non-existent debt. Also be sure to independently search for a telephone number to call; never use a number provided by the caller without carrying out your own research.
Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. Take five and listen to your instincts.
If you know you have a debt, keep in regular contact with your creditor and be sure to establish the debt type at the earliest opportunity if you are not aware. This will help you to understand who might be in contact with you regarding any repayments or arrears.
You can report suspicious calls like these to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Shopping Online Safely 24/11/2017
How To Shop Online Safely
Check the web address
Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.
Is it a secure connection?
Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.
Don't click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.
Door step crime Bogus Workman 23/11/17
Message sent by
Philippa Boyd (Police, Sergeant, Edinburgh)
Dear Community members
I am taking this opportunity to make you aware of 2 recent incidents in the Morningside and Grange areas, where elderly occupiers have been approached by a male in his 30's offering to fix loose roof tiles on their houses.
It is thought the male may be driving a white transit style van.
We are currently investigating the circumstances to establish any criminality, but if you can make your members aware I would be very much appreciated.
Graeme Nisbet (South East Inspector)
Netflix E-Mail Phishing Scam 15/11/2017
Message sent by
Samantha Campbell (Police, Constable, Edinburgh)
For anyone with a Netflix account please be aware of the following ongoing scam. The email header reads “Your Suspension Notification” to create a sense of urgency.
The e-mails appear genuine and threaten to suspend the account in 48hrs.
If the link is clicked on you are taken to a legitimate looking landing page replete with adverts for popular box sets and films where users are requested to input account and billing details.
The advice, as with all phishing emails, is to delete immediately, do not click on any part of the email. If you wish to check an account mentioned in the email, go directly to the site and log in, do not follow links. If the account allows, activate 2-factor authentication which won’t allow a criminal access even with the username and password.