A Longside resident is appealing for people to be cautious after he received a scam letter through the post.
The resident, who doesn’t want to be named, thought it was genuine at first but a quick search online found that it was a scam and others across the UK had lost thousands of pounds because of similar schemes.
The letter claimed that he had won £900,000 and he had to contact a business manager in London in order to abtain his ‘prize’.
However the resident thought it was suspicious as he had never entered or heard of the online lottery named in the letter.
Scams are schemes to con people out of their money and can come in a variety of formats: by post, phone, email, online, or via a knock on the door.
It’s estimated that nearly half of people in the UK (48 per cent) have been targeted by a scam and that £3.5bn is lost every year.
Scams are crimes that affect people across all sections of society, with distressing and sometimes damaging consequences.
For a variety of reasons most go unreported: some victims are unaware they’ve been scammed, others feel shame or embarrassment at being caught out.
Many employ well-honed techniques to create a sense of urgency, opportunity or threat; whatever it takes to cajole and coerce people into parting with money or potentially valuable information including bank or credit card details.
Phishing is another type of scam that usually takes the form of an email apparently from the receiver’s bank requesting them to update, validate or confirm details.
It’s designed to trick people into revealing personal information and passwords so scammers can access their account.
A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Aberdeenshire Trading Standards are currently offering a free loan service of telephone call blockers to cut out nuisance sales and scam calls.
“Anyone wishing to obtain one or who knows of a vulnerable person who may benefit from this should contact Trading Standards on 01346 587007.”
For help and advice to avoid becoming the latest victim of scam visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards/scams.asp.