The Community Team at Levenmouth Police Station has today (Wednesday) launched a campaign warning locals of the dangers of online and telephone scams.
Signpost To Safety gives advice on scams to look out for, either on the internet or from rogue callers, and how best to deal with them.
Sergeant Craig Fyall said the campaign’s leaflets were especially designed to help get information out to hard-to-reach, vulnerable members of the community.
He said: “Initially the campaign was guidance on home security, but it’s evolved and we’ve come up with this initiative which targets scamming.
“It tells you what the scam is, what advice to follow and the steps to take to stay safe online.”
PC Kerry Anderson added: “We’ve targeted safety in the real world, now we’re looking at safety online.”
When planning the campaign the team looked at what scams are prevalent and what was trending on the internet.
PC Anderson said: “There’s millions of scams out there so it was just about looking at those that are most current and are most affecting people in this area.
“We then looked to generalise these scams without going into specifics of each individual case, and grouping them together under each heading.”
Sgt Fyall said that scamming is a both a local and global problem. He said: “We have seen people fall victim to it in the Levenmouth area, so we want to get the message out locally to be that bit more careful when online.”
PC Anderson said scamming is a crime that can go unreported: “It’s maybe the case that a person will report it to their bank and not the police.
“We are aware that it’s maybe a bigger problem than we have the figures for so this is us taking a preventative approach to get this information out there, before someone becomes a victim.
“In the main, when it comes to ‘phishing’, don’t click on a link – if it looks too good to be true it probably is.
“With ‘vishing’, which is when someone tries to get financial information over the phone, we ask would you walk up to somebody on the street and give them your financial information? No, you wouldn’t, so please don’t do it over the phone.”
The team are aware that there can be an embarrassment when falling for a scam, but Sgt Fyall said: “If anyone has any concerns at all, then please just pick up the phone and give us a call on 101, or you can call the Action Fraud Helpline on 0300 123 2040.”