"Following two messages from Neighbourhood Watch Members this morning please be aware of the following information.
These are the self explanatory words from a member in the Forth Valley area. This scam is widespread be very careful if you receive a call purporting to be from Amazon. They will not call you to pay money into your account once they have taken your bank details. This is a scam.
A neighbour reported to me this morning that he had received a telephone call from someone purporting to be from Amazon. They claimed that there had been fraudulent activity on his account and he was due a refund. They then asked him to press button 1 and be transferred to a supposed Amazon employee who would deal with the refund. It then escalated from there and he was asked to turn on his computer to facilitate the refund and complete a form. After some time he then realised they had breached his fire wall. They had gained access to his bank account because they had taken control of his computer. He cancelled all of his cards but it could had been catastrophic. He could not shut down his computer.
Another message came in about unusual activity whereby what looked like delivery couriers were approaching houses and were seen to be trying to find unlocked doors. Be on the lookout for strangers in your area and what they might be up to. The massive increase in shopping online especially as Christmas approaches could be rich picking for the criminal out there looking for any opportunity to steal.
Take our simple advice below to keep yourself and your property safe.
1. Keep gifts out of view
Whether wrapped or unwrapped, don't store any gifts in places where they can be easily seen or found. We understand Christmas is all about tradition, but it's very wise to avoid leaving gifts under the tree. Keeping them out of sight removes the temptation for a criminal to try their luck.
2. Make your home look occupied
Even if you are only popping out for a couple of minutes, taking simple measures such as leaving a light or radio on will help create the illusion someone is home. Timer switches are great tools for showing activity within the home by switching lights on and off.
3. Lock all of your windows and doors
It's surprisingly easy to forget, especially around Christmas time when there's so much to think about! Remember to double-check that all your doors and windows are secure before leaving home. If you're displaying Christmas lights, avoid leaving windows or doors ajar to run cables outside.
4. Don't overshare on Social Media
Avoid sharing too much information about where you are, when you're going, or what you've got. Don't 'check-in' and be careful when posting pictures. Criminals are increasingly using sites such as Facebook and Twitter to identify potential targets.
5. Make sure someone's home to take deliveries
If you're expecting a delivery, make sure someone is there to receive it. Don't give permission for packages to be left on the door step where an opportunist thief could quickly grab an early present of their own.
If you have been the victim of either of these types of crime to report it call Police Scotland Tel 101. If a crime is taking place or you are in fear for your or anothers safety call 999.
Message Sent By
Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)