“Callous criminals” targeting Inverclyde residents in phone scam attacks

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POLICE have warned residents in Inverclyde to be vigilant of scammers after  a woman reported her National Insurance Number had been compromised.

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Police Division (RIPD) issued a warning over social media on Monday 26th warning of an increase of reports of online fraud.

The post has prompted Facebook users to share their experiences with the new scam and to warn others.

A man on a phone - Scottish News
(Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash)

Writing to Facebook yesterday morning RIPD wrote: “Recently we received a letter from Mrs Barr of Gourock reporting that she was involved in what she though was a telephone scam.

“It involved an automated telephone call informing her that her National Insurance Number has been compromised.

“It encouraged her to ‘press one’ to resolve the issue and stated that if she didn’t she could be arrested or face other legal action.

“It is one of many types of current ‘phishing scams’ aimed at encouraging people to part with sensitive personal information which could be used for illegal gains.”

A facebook police post - Scottish News
Renfrewshire & Inverclyde Police Division issued a warning yesterday.

Mrs Barr is not the only one who has received these calls as many people commented on Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Police Divisions’ post saying that they receive similar phone calls.

Speaking to Deadline News Craig Coghill, 47 from Renfrewshire spoke about his 68 year old mothers experience with the scammers: “I was up at my mum’s and she got 8 calls in an hour, 3 connected to an advisor, 5 the line went blank.

“I answered the calls as she had a dozen the prior day saying ‘you have a router issue’.

“I looked up the number and online it says it’s a scam. I confronted them all on each call and they hung up.”

Craig Coghill - Scottish News
Craig Coghill’s mother had received numerous calls from the scammers.

Kara Cairns, 20 from Cumbernauld had also experienced issues saying: “The number starts with 07444 usually.

“I only know this as I’ve had 6 calls from similar numbers starting with that.”

People have been urged to report any suspicious activity to the policy with some saying they have already had scammers attempting to take financial details.

Inverclyde Local Area Commander Chief Inspector, Paul Cameron said: “Unfortunately Inverclyde Police are seeing an increase in reports of online frauds with some people being scammed out of significant amounts of their hard-earned money.

“These callous criminals are well-rehearsed, can be very convincing and aim to target the more vulnerable members of our communities.

“If you are contacted out of the blue by someone asking about personal or financial details it is highly likely that this is a scam.

“If you have already provided your personal details and are now doubting the legitimacy of the call, please don’t panic but contact your bank and take any necessary steps to protect your finances.”

Deadline News was unable to get further comment from Police Scotland.