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Buckie councillors sound fraud support warning


By Alan Beresford

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Calls have been made for Action Fraud to be available in Scotland.
Calls have been made for Action Fraud to be available in Scotland.

CONCERNS over the lack of access to a national fraud reporting agency have been voiced by two Buckie councillors.

The issue was raised during a recent meeting between local councillors Neil McLennan and Sonya Warren and Bank of Scotland representatives when a gap in tackling fraud crime was identified.

Councillor McLennan has already raised concerns about low detection rates for fraud in the local area, via his role on the Police and Fire Committee in February.

At a meeting with bank bosses, the Buckie councillor duo identified that Acton Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is only accessible to those affected by fraud crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports made to Action Fraud receive a crime reference number and are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Councillor Sonya Warren. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Councillor Sonya Warren. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Councillor Warren, who is currently working with a victim of fraud, said: “It's a horrible situation to discover you've been a victim of fraud.

“However, if you live in Scotland they are unable to help you and you could only to go to Police Scotland.

“It’s very disappointing to know that the multi-agency fraud team can’t support people north of the border there and then.

“It leaves victims of crime in a void with not much actual support of what to do and how to ensure that no further crime could be committed.

“It's unbelievable that people in Scotland are not covered by Action Fraud, especially when all the banks sign up to the Take 5 campaign run by Action Fraud. I would also tell everyone not to be complacent.

“You may think you are good with with two factor ID and facial/fingerprint recognition, or even if you don’t use your phone to pay for things.

“Do take five minutes and make sure you are aware of how fraud and scams can happen, as well as things you can do to stay safe.”

Buckie councillor Neil McLennan.
Buckie councillor Neil McLennan.

Councillor McLennan added: “We were concerned that this important service is not available to all parts of the United Kingdom.

“On flagging this with bank bosses, we were satisfied that they would look into this gap and highlight it elsewhere as appropriate. I will certainly write a letter or join any joint letter to Action Fraud asking that their service also supports victims of Fraud in Scotland.

“Cybercrime and fraud is not a localised issue; it is, like many crimes today, organised and cutting across counties hence a nationwide response is called for with all agencies pulling together resource and expertise to track down these criminals and protect people from crime.”





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