Scotland hit by £700,000 in doorstep scams over six months

Doorstep scam Image copyright Getty Images

Doorstep scammers took more than £700,000 from people across Scotland in six months, according to new figures.

Police Scotland said 249 victims were targeted between April and September last year.

The figures were released ahead of a new campaign, Shut Out Scammers, which aims to raise awareness on cold calls.

While half of those hit by scams could be considered "vulnerable", police are stressing that a wide rangle of people are falling victim to such frauds.

Ch Supt John McKenzie warned: "Nobody is immune to this kind of crime."

Police also highlighted that many fraudsters have links to organised crime groups.

'Always ask for ID'

Ch Supt McKenzie continued: "It is incredibly invasive and victims often feel embarrassed about being deceived.

"We take doorstep crime very seriously and understand the significant impact it has on victims. It is vital that people report crimes to us when they happen.

"Our Shut Out Scammers campaign will help us stop more members of our communities being targeted by those intent on defrauding them of cash or gaining access to their homes.

"We want to make sure victims know where to turn to so that they can receive all the necessary support and assistance.

"There is no specific look to a bogus caller or rogue trader. Be alert, and if you have any concerns at all, do not allow an individual entry to your home, or provide them with any form of payment and do not hesitate to phone the police immediately.

"Always ask for ID and only let callers in if they have an appointment and you know that they are genuine."

Reporting crimes

The Police Scotland campaign will be carried out in conjunction with a number of partner organisations to highlight prevention advice and support services.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland which is one of the partners, said: "A scam is a crime and should be treated as such.

"The Scottish CAB (Citizens Advice Bureaux) network is always happy to engage with campaigns like this to help people avoid scams, and to stress the importance of reporting them.

"Scammers rely on people not talking about them to friends and neighbours, so the more we talk about this issue the better.

"If you have experienced any type of scam we would urge you to report it. If we all work together we can beat the scammers."

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