This page highlights scams which are currently impacting the South Lanarkshire area, specific criminal activity in the area, or government initiatives which may affect our area. The information is mainly provided by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland which is a local community initiative which receives the information directly from police, local authority and other sources. This page will be updated regularly as new local scams or initiatives are identified.
While you are here, why not check if your email (and passwords) have been compromised during one of the many big data breaches that we often hear about on the news (and lots of ones you may never have heard about). You can check it here. Just enter your email address and click the pwned? button and the site will advise if your email has been breached and identify sources of the breach. It also tells you the date of each breach. If your email has been compromised then it is very important that you change your passwords immediately if you have not done so since the date of the latest breach. How many of us use the same password (or a small groups of passwords) for lots of sites? Once emails, passwords and other personal data have been accessed then that data is sold on via the dark web into the hands of scammers.
SCAM - Ofcom Internet Service
Beware of receiving an automated call purporting to be from OFCOM (The Office of Communications) stating that your internet service is going to be switched of unless you respond by selection one of the option offered up.
This is a scam and could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.
Previously this scam was being perpetrated under the guise of being from British Telecom.
Check out OFCOM's own link to the two types of scam ongoing at present using their organisations name
Message Sent By Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)
Warning Increase In Theft of Agricultural Plant
Please be aware that Police Scotland are reporting a spike in thefts of agricultural plant, in particular tractors and telehandlers, across Scotland.
Find below some advice on how to keep your equipment safe and secure
Steps you can take to prevent machinery theft happening on your land:
• Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter.
• Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location.
• Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles as these can be crucial in recovery, should the worst happen.
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Quads and All-Terrain Vehicles:
• Invest in a bespoke quad security device, such as Quadvice or a quality padlock and chain, such as those approved by Secured By Design - a police approved product scheme. Securing to a fixed point on the ground or something that takes time to remove will also act as a deterrent.
• Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV unattended.
• Keep gates to yards closed as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Tractors:
• Mark machinery with DNA marking devices and forensic marking products
• Sign up to CESAR, an agricultural equipment registration scheme, which increases the chance of recovering stolen goods by helping police identify stolen machinery
• Have the Vehicle Identification Number etched on windows. This makes the vehicle more detectable and less appealing to thieves because they have to grind out the numbers.
• Instal immobilisers, chip keys and trackers as these are a simple way to deter criminals or track vehicles and can be fitted easily by an experienced agricultural engineer.
If you notice anything unusual on your land and premises or when you are out and about in the countryside call Police Scotland Tel 101.
If a crime is being committed call 999.
SCAM Amazon Prime
Members of the public are being targetted with automated calls stating that the recipient has been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. The callers use this lure as a way to gain access to the recipient’s online banking account.
How does it work?
1. The victim receives an automated call stating that they’ve been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. They’re asked to press 1 to cancel the charge, this connects them directly to the fraudster.
2. A fraudster, posing as an Amazon customer service representative, then tells the victim that the Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again.
3. The victim is asked to download an application called Team Viewer, which grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer.
4. The victim is then asked to log onto their online banking account whilst the criminals are able to monitor everything via Team Viewer.
Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating the recipient is due a refund for an unauthorised transition on their Amazon account.
What to do ?
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.
It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations but it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.
For more information on scams and how to protect yourself go to https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/
If you have been the victim of this type of crime call Police Scotland Tel 101 to report.
SCAM - Competition Text
Beware of scam text messages claiming you’ve won a competition!
A South Lanarkshire resident contacted us to say they had received a text message from Currys PC World, claiming they had a spot on the “Currys Xmas list”.
The message included a link to a page that asks for information about your age and if you use Currys PC World. Once the information is entered, you are advised you have won an iPhone 11 Pro. You are then asked for your address and card details to pay a £2 delivery fee.
This is a scam!
SCAM BT Phishing
The following scam has been reported to Police Scotland within the Borders area but is relevant to everyone.
On Thursday 28th November an email was received purporting to be from BT – titled “Brexit Terms of Service” with the following text – “Brexit draws closer and your terms of service must be updated. Here's what's changing. When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union we also leave the EU's General Data Protection Regulations. This means your contract terms must be updated to comply with our services. This requires our customers to agree to our new terms of service. To do this please follow the link. Now here's the good news! Your monthly bill remains unchanged. This includes all of your BT subscripted products”
Phishing is a scam where criminals typically send emails to thousands of people. These emails pretend to come from banks, credit card companies, online shops and auction sites as well as other trusted organisations. They usually try to trick you into going to the site, for example to update your password to avoid your account being suspended. The embedded link in the email itself goes to a website that looks exactly like the real thing but is actually a fake designed to trick victims into entering personal information.
Please be extremely wary of emails claiming to be from organisations such as BT, HMRC or your bank. NEVER CLICK ON LINKS in unsolicited email contact like this. Delete the email. You may wish to contact the organisation via the method you would normally use, NOT via any number /email in the message.
For more information on Identity Theft, Fraud and Scams please visit the Police Scotland Website https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/identity-theft-fraud-and-scams and Get Safe Online https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/spam-and-scam-email/
Public Consultation Effectiveness of Control of Dogs Scotland Act 2010
The Scottish Government is committed to helping keep communities safe from irresponsible dog owners and their out of control dogs. As such the Scottish Government is undertaking a review of dog control law. This initial consultation is focused on improving the operational effectiveness of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 to aid enforcement agencies.
Effective and consistent enforcement across Scotland is fundamental in helping address issues relating to out of control dogs. This review is focused on steps that can be taken to help aid enforcement agencies such as local authorities as they use their powers to help keep communities safe.
Communities are therefore encouraged to consider the questions in this consultation and offer their views to help shape future dog control legislation.
The consulation closes on 15.01.2020
ILLEGAL TV Streaming (IPTV, KODI on Firestick or box)
Illegal streaming is the streaming of pirated copies of films or TV shows or premium sports content without the copyright owner’s permission. This can include watching illegal content using an add-on accessed from a device like a set-top box or a stick, streaming from an unauthorised website, or streaming via an app (on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or gaming system) IPTV
Streaming hardware devices like set-top-boxes, or sticks in their unaltered form are legal - but many are being modified and then sold, with unauthorised add-ons pre-installed that allow people to access, stream and watch pirated copies of copyrighted content illegally. Similarly, apps maybe installed directly onto smart TVs to enable streaming of illegal content.
Some examples of pirated content are films that are not yet released in the UK, TV programmes that haven’t aired yet or TV programmes that are only being shown in the UK on subscription channels (e.g. SKY, BT Sports, Premier Sports, . . ) for which you don’t have an account, pay-per-view offerings for which you have not paid and sports events that are shown legally only on sports channels for which you do not have a subscription.
In short, if you are streaming and watching - without an official subscription - films, TV shows or sport that should be paid for (or that are not legally available in the UK), then you are streaming illegally.
It is not a grey area: those who load up, advertise, sell or distribute dodgy streaming boxes and sticks are committing a crime, as is anyone who uses one of these dodgy devices to stream illegal content.
Every time you access illegal content, whether it’s to watch your favourite film, sports or TV show using a modified box or stick or via unauthorised website, app, add-on or another illegal source, you are likely to be exposed to dangerous pop ups, malware and/or the risk of fraud and hacking. It was recently estimated that 90% of the modified apps contained malware to allow 3rd parties to access the devices remotely and access user's details. A recent court judgement also highlighted that consumers risk criminal prosecution by using one of these devices to illegally stream content.
These type of services are often advertised via social media (you only have to check recent Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill FaceBook group posts!!! - Ed) or word of mouth as Firesticks or IPTV with enhanced or fully-loaded content (SKY movies, SKY Sports, BT TV, Premier Sports etc etc).
SCAM - Solar Panels
If anyone contacts you about replacement solar panels, equipment related to solar panels or energy grants, be wary!
Winter is the time for heating and energy scams!
If you have any questions about energy grants, contact Energy Saving Trust on 0808 808 2282 for the answer. Always do some independent research before signing up for anything…or ask a friend or relative to do it for you.
If you need work done in your home, perhaps use the Buy With Confidence scheme to find a trader.
Unfortunately, people get caught out by this type of scam a lot: Ruthless fraudster used energy scam to rip off the elderly
Unfortunately, people get caught out by this type of scam a lot: Ruthless fraudster used energy scam to rip off the elderly
SCAM iPhone Deals
Beware of cheap iPhone deals on social media!
After hacking Curry’s PC World listings on eBay and changing the PayPal payment details, scammers then lured people in by offering cheap deals on iPhones, with payments going directly to the scammers.
Remember to always be cautious when clicking links on social media…especially if the offer seems too-good-to-be-true!