Police Scotland Business Advice
British Gas Scam Emails
Several consumers have recently received scam emails purportedly from British Gas saying that they are due a refund due to a recent overpayment. The emails include links leading to scam websites with British Gas branding which ask for personal and bank account details.
Other scam British Gas emails (shown above) say that you owe £2.01 on your gas bill and warn that your gas supply will be cut off unless you pay the money.
British Gas have confirmed that these emails are not genuine. If you receive a similar email and are unsure whether or not it is legitimate, phone British Gas using the number on your utility bill. Don't click on any links in unexpected emails.
British Gas have information on their website about recognising genuine communications from them and avoiding phishing emails.
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC)
The SBRC is a non-profit organisation which exists to support and help protect Scottish Business.
Formed in 1996 the SBRC has continuously evolved to meet a changing societal and resilience landscape to provide our members and Scottish Business with the most up to date and relevant guidance and support. SBRC operates across three main areas to provide a range of services and education, covering all aspects of business resilience 2.0 and Cyber Security.
SBRC has a seconded team of five police officers and one Scottish Fire and Rescue Service officer, all of whom are dedicated to providing business resilience advice, inputs and guidance to help prevent Scottish businesses become the victims of disruption, damage or financial loss through criminality or unwanted fire or fire alarm activation.
SBRC can provide the right guidance to business to help stop them becoming victims of crime or unwanted fire incidents. Effective and appropriate advice from SBRC to businesses can reduce the frontline demand on police and fire services. The seconded team can provide input and training on the following range of topics: ACT (action counters terrorism – terrorism awareness) SCAN (see, check and notify – business security advice) Lone Working Personal Safety Conflict Management Insider Threat Human Trafficking Money Laundering Protest Activity Incident Management (robbery) Child Sexual Exploitation Bystander Training (night-time economy/Best Bar None). Fire led presentations also include: Fire Risk Mitigation Fire Evacuation Scenario Planning Mitigation of wilful fire raising/Vacant Premises Fire Risk and its impact upon business continuity Effective Management of Legislative Fire Safety Compliance Managing UFAS False Alarm Reduction.
Please see attached Marketing document for further information and contact details.
Business Scam – PayPoint
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has warned this week about a new scam related to mobile phone top ups which is targeting retailers.
A small retailers received a cold call purportedly from PayPoint where the caller told the shop assistant that there was an issue with the till.
The caller asked the employee to issue a mobile phone top up and to pass them the validation code, reassuring them that they would send a rejected code so there would be no loss. However, no rejection code was received and the caller asked the employee to carry out the same transaction again, saying that there must still be an issue with the till. At this point, the employee suspected that it was a scam and hung up. SBRC are advising retailers to stay vigilant and, if they have suspicions following unexpected phone calls, to confirm this with their provider directly on a number they know to be true. If you think that your organisation has fallen victim to a cyber-attack, you can call the SBRC's free and confidential Cyber Incident Response number, 01786 437 472, for advice and support.
Postal Scam Using CTSI Branding
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has recently warned about new scam letters using their branding which say that the recipient has been exposed to a company that CTSI has allegedly investigated.
Following instances of counterfeit currency being used to make purchases, Police Scotland are reminding retailers of the importance of checking all banknotes handed over as payment. Visual checks can be made regarding the quality of both the paper/polymer and the print. The use of detector pens and ultra violet lamps should also be considered. Advice leaflets are readily available from the various banks detailing the security features to look out for on each banknote. If in doubt, compare the note to one that you know is genuine.
Rogue Traders – Stonehaven
Police are encouraging residents in rural communities to remain vigilant following reports of rogue trader activity in the Stonehaven area. North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Mike Urquhart said ‘Rogue Traders usually cold-call, offering to make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or completely unnecessary work. We do not recommend dealing with cold-callers for property maintenance and repairs to your home and garden.’ ‘Be on your guard if someone turns up unexpectedly. Ask yourself if your premises or garden really require work to be carried out and remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be vigilant for vulnerable neighbours who may fall foul of these criminals. Don’t feel pressurised into agreeing immediately to work being carried out and never pay cash up front.’
Anyone with information regarding Rogue Traders should contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Rural Crime – Theft of Quad Bikes
Police are appealing for information following the theft of two quad bikes from separate properties near Pitgaveny, Lossiemouth. The first quad was stolen between 1pm on Thursday 29 April 2021 and 8am on Friday 30 April 2021. It is described as a Suzuki 500, green in colour, vehicle registration mark NX67EKW which was taken from a premises in Pitgaveny, Lossiemouth
A second quad was stolen from separate premises in Pitgaveny, Lossiemouth, between 4pm on Friday 28 May 2021 and 8am on Saturday 29 May 2021. It is described as Suzuki 500, red in colour, vehicle registration mark YX18 FAF.
North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Richard Russell said ‘Sadly quad bike and all-terrain vehicle theft continues to be an increasing issue across Scotland. Criminals are travelling considerable distances to target farms and rural properties. They are well equipped to break into properties and are often using large vans and panel vans to transport the stolen vehicles. At this time, we are keen to hear from anyone who lives in the area and believes they may have seen any vehicles nearby in suspicious circumstances. Any information could prove vital to our enquiries.
He added ‘The more layers of security that can be added to protect property the more likely thieves will go elsewhere. Removing the keys is not enough and never store keys near to the vehicle. Quads and ATV’s must be secured inside buildings with good quality padlocks and chains. Ground anchors or wheel clamps combined with alarms are an excellent deterrent. Multiple layers of security will slow down thieves and make them much more likely to be discovered.’ Consider tracking devices for high value vehicles and machinery. Keep a record of all vehicles with photographs and serial numbers
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting reference CF0099600521 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Trading Standards Scotland Bulletin
The Trading Standards Scotland Bulletin looks at some of the most recent scams reported by consumers across Scotland. It is available by clicking on the link here:
The latest fortnightly Aberdeenshire Trading Standards can be viewed below in the attached document.
Sign Up for Neighbourhood Alert for free
A great way in which Police can share information is via the Neighbourhood Alert system, which is delivered by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. This enables us to send out e-mail messages relating to local crime trends and share crime prevention advice quickly and effectively to a wide audience. The information can also be targeted to particular groups, streets, or communities as required.
Anyone can sign-up to receive these e-mail messages, either individually or as a community group. The sign-up process allows you to specify the type of information you are interested in and from what source. This is coordinated by our partners in Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, who work with a range of partners in the public sector to provide information not only on crime, but also about community safety and resilience. We only send out messages which contribute to keeping you informed and safe.
In these uncertain times, Neighbourhood Alert is recognized as a trusted source of information. Please consider taking a moment to sign-up for Neighbourhood Alert e-mail messages, and encourage family, friends and neighbor’s to do the same. Over 23,000 people across Scotland have joined so far, with more joining every day. You can join too, without setting up a Neighbourhood Watch.
For up-to-date information on scams and cyber-related crimes visit