Urgent warning as Scots scammed £120,000 in new online fraud

An urgent warning has been issued following rising numbers of Scots scammed over £120,000 in new online fraud.

The number of Scots falling victim to fake investment scams by cybercriminals has doubled since the start of the year.

Woman struggling with online credit card scam
Lyndsay McFee, consumer project manager at Advice Direct ScotlandCredit: Direct Advice Scotland

Direct advice Scotland urge people to be careful social networks platforms following a rise in cryptocurrency swindle complaints.

THE charity saw cryptocurrency scam complaints double in the first quarter of this year.

Between January and March, 18 Scots sought help from Advice Direct Scotlandlosing over £120,000 fraudincluding an Aberdeen male who was cheated out of £10,000.

The figures had doubled both in number of cases and in total value compared to the previous quarter.

Advice Direct Scotland found that other forms of online fraud had risen by almost 32% over the same period.

He warns that criminals often use social media advertisements featuring fake celebrity endorsements to trick people into investing in crypto assets, using aggressive tactics and promising unrealistic returns.

An Aberdeen-area man has lost around £10,000 in an investment scam after being targeted on social media.

The scammers promised him a return of £90,000 within a year and convinced him to make regular payments using gift cards.

They also claimed an additional fee would secure the £90,000 delivery to his door via a courier.

After blocking all contact and failing to deliver the moneyhe asked for help.

Unfortunately, as payments were made using hard-to-trace gift cards, recovery options were limited.

However, it is currently investigating the possibility of refunds through the debit and credit card companies used for certain purchases.

Advice Direct Scotland has also seen an increase in ‘Hi Mum/Hi Dad’ scams, in which criminals pose as loved ones and send unexpected messages via text or WhatsAppasking for money urgently.

Lyndsay McFee, consumer project manager at Advice Direct Scotland, said:
“Unfortunately we know that Scots have lost over £120,000 to fake cryptocurrency schemes in the space of three months.

“However, this is a significantly under-reported issue, and there may be many more victims of such scams.

“Scammers are constantly looking for new opportunities, including via social networks, to target Scottish and acquire personal information, bank details or money.

“It is crucial to remain vigilant when using both new and existing apps or websites.

“One key thing to remember is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“People should not feel rushed or rushed into making a purchase as this can be a clear sign of a scam. Never pay to get money back as this is likely part of a larger fraud.

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“The most effective way to stop scammers in their tracks is to report a scam to when you see one.

‘Remember there is no shame in being ripped off and consumers who are worried or need help should contact one of our specialist consumer advisers for free, impartial and practical advice on 0808 164 6000 or’

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