Scams affecting the most vulnerable – we need your help

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Police Scotland is asking the public to warn friends, family and neighbours about a scam which targets people via text message or WhatsApp message.

The content of the message is that the caller (a supposed) trusted friend or family member, often saying they are a son or daughter, has recently changed their phone number and in need of some money to pay an outstanding bill or for food.

On occasion these messages have gone unchallenged and money has been transferred.

This message will come from a mobile number that you do not recognise.

PC Laura Evans from Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Community Engagement Team said: ‘Should you receive a request like this, our advice is to simply phone your friend or family member on the original number that you will have for them (not the new one provided) to confirm if this is a genuine request.

‘We can all do our part to help protect those who may be more vulnerable to this type of scam. This may be due to old age or mental impairment such as dementia, through passing this message on to those who may not be aware of this scam and may not access social media.

‘I would ask that you not only be aware of this scam yourself, but that you pass this message on to as many people as you can either through a phone call to someone you know, sharing the message on social media or popping over to your neighbour to make them aware.’

Police Scotland would ask you to make contact with the person who the message is allegedly from on the number you have stored for them, not the one the message has come from, before you engage in any text/whatsapp conversation and especially before you transfer any money.