8th November 2017
Last week Cathy Marshall, Secretary of the Pitlochry & District Neighbourhood Watch, put together a list of common scams, several of those listed I had previously warned Perth & Kinross residents about this year.
This week I want to provide some more advice in relation to scams highlighting ‘phishing’ and listing ways to help you avoid becoming a victim.
‘Phishing’ is when criminals use fake e-mails, or web links, to acquire sensitive personal information, such as passwords, usernames, or bank account details.
This is used to commit fraudulent or even criminal acts in your name.
Such emails and linked websites often appear as genuine but are designed to trick people into entering personal details to access your identity, steal from your bank account or infect your computer with a virus which can allow them to control your system.
- Don’t click on links in emails from unknown sources
This first point is possibly the most important one and the one we need to spell out the most!
If there’s a link in an email from an untrustworthy source you should check the real destination of the link.
You can do this by hovering your mouse over the link (without clicking). The true destination of the link will be displayed on the bottom left of the screen in grey.
Ensure the web address shown on the bottom left matches what appears on the bottom bar when you hover over the link - if it doesn’t you could be taken to a phishing site.
Be aware that the safest websites to visit are those with a padlock sign on the destination website address followed by ‘https: //’.
2) Do not click on attachments in emails from unknown sources
If you weren’t expecting an email from an organisation, always question their motives for getting in touch.
There’s a good chance it might not be genuine.
3. Any requests for personal information should be treated with caution
Be careful with what information you give out online. If you receive an email asking for usernames, passwords or bank details then tread with caution.
In 2016, many people were hoaxed through an iTunes ‘phishing’ scam.
An email was sent through from a fake Apple email address featuring a fake invoice for purchased music or an app. They would then be asked to click on a ‘Refund’ button to get this money back and then duped into providing card details on a separate website.
Scared that someone had gone shopping with their credit/debit card, thousands were conned into providing personal information. This was done in the hope they’d receive a refund, but ended in money being emptied from their bank account.
Apple has information on their own website about identifying legitimate emails from iTunes and what you should do if you are targeted.
4. Be suspicious of any email that doesn’t use your proper name
This can be one of the biggest giveaways of a scam. For example, the email starts ‘Dear Customer’, ‘Dear account holder’, or ‘Dear (your email address)'.
Any reputable company getting in touch with you will use your proper name.
5. An urgent request for action might not be genuine
A common ‘phishing’ scam is to issue a threat or put the fear into that person that if they don’t click on a link or provide certain details within a short space of time then they’ll lose money or face some other consequences.
This has people panicking and results in them falling into the trap.
If you suspect a scam, get in touch with the organisation in question and speak to their customer service (without clicking on any links in said email of course!).
If you’re concerned something is a scam, copy the text of the email and paste it into Google. There you can see if other people have had similar emails, and often the real company (which the email falsely claims to be from) will have advice on their own pages about what to do in the event of receiving this information.
If you suspect you have been the victim of online crime call Police Scotland on 101. For further advice regarding online safety and how to protect yourself visit www.getsafeonline.org/GSOWeek.
Think about the link before you click!
About 5.30pm an elderly resident in St Catherine’s Square, Perth found a male within his property and ushered him out. The resident then discovered items had been stolen and contacted Police. A short time later a 46 year old local man was traced and arrested when he was found in possession of the stolen property. (CR/28712/17)
A 38 year old Perth man was arrested at 10.50pm on Sunday 5th November after a resident in Balhousie Street, Perth saw the man within their garden, in circumstances that appeared he was there to commit theft. (CR/29039/17)
The construction site on Auld Bond Road, Perth has been targeted again by thieves who stole 750 litres of red diesel from a bowser overnight on Monday 30th October. (CR/28548/17)
A black Volkswagen Golf had two tyres punctured whilst it was parked in Ladeside Court, Perth overnight on Tuesday 31st October. (CR/28571/17)
Between 8.30pm on Tuesday 31th October and 1pm on Wednesday 1st November a flat in Grampian Court, Perth was broken into and items were stolen including a games console and jewellery. (CR/28651/17)
Two tyres were damaged on a white Ford Transit van parked in Ladeside Court, Perth overnight on Thursday 2nd November. (CR/28749/17)
Between Friday 3rd and Monday 6th November three storage containers at the Nursery building, North Muirton Primary School, Uist Place, Perth were vandalised. On Monday when staff returned to work they found that outdoor toys were strewn across the playground and the containers they had been stored in were broken. Staff believe this damage is being caused by local children who enter the school grounds at weekends. Parents are requested to ensure that their children are respectful of others property to prevent further incidents of vandalism occurring. (CR/29081/17)
Between 3pm and 4pm on Monday 6th November whilst a schoolgirl was playing at the South Inch playpark, Perth a thief stole her trumpet which she had laid down with her jacket and other belongings nearby. (CR/29211/17)
A green Yamaha Grizzly 600 quad bike was stolen from Stronachie House, Forgandenny between 8pm on Monday 30th October and 1pm Tuesday 31st October. (CR/28594/17)
A police vehicle was damaged when a vandal broke off the rear registration plate between 10pm on Tuesday 31st October and 2am on Wednesday 1st November in the Blairgowrie area. (CR/28606/17)
A glass door pane was smashed at 7.55pm on Wednesday 1st November at a house in Jessie Street, Blairgowrie. (CR/28707/17)
A tray of freshly baked goods was stolen from outside the Co-op, Perth Street, Blairgowrie between 4am and 6.30am on Monday 30th October. (CR/28895/17)
A black Ford Fiesta parked in Campbell Street, Coupar Angus was damaged overnight on Wednesday 1st November when the paintwork was scratched. (CR/28642/17)
During the day on Thursday 2nd November a blue Dacia Stepway Motor car was vandalised whilst parked in Arthurstone Gardens, Meigle. (CR/28732/17)
Overnight on Monday 6th November an attempt was made to break-in to Munros, Bridgend, Aberfeldy. Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 or any police officer, quoting the crime reference number CR/29159/17.
During an open day to celebrate 50 years of the Vane Farm Nature Reserve, Kinross a £500 pair of binoculars were stolen from a display table. (CR/28614/17)
The Handy Shop, Drummond Street, Comrie had a window smashed after a young man punched it at 11pm on Saturday 4th November. A local man will be visited soon by officers in connection with the incident. (CR/28938/17)
A red deer carcass was found on the Invergeldie Estate, Comrie on Monday 30th October. The deer had been shot and its head removed. Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 or any police officer, quoting the crime reference number CR/29235/17.
Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 or any police officer, quoting the crime reference number listed at each incident. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Local Area Commander
Perth and Kinross
Your Community Policing Teams
PI Gordon Thomson
Blairgowrie & Glens
Carse of Gowrie
PI Jon Anton
Perth City North
Perth City South
Perth City Centre
PI Kevin Chase
Almond & Earn
PERTH - Sgt Gary Lamb
CRIEFF - Sgt Willie Ross
AUCHTERARDER - Sgt Marshall McKay
KINROSS - Sgt Robert Hogg
BLAIRGOWRIE - Sgt Nicky Forrester
PITLOCHRY - Sgt Caroline MacNaughton
Command Support Sergeant
Sgt David Patton
Sgt Stuart Watson
If you wish to make contact with any of these officers please use the following e-mail addresses: