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Scam involving fake Royal Mail text and website, as well as fake bank phone calls, cost Aberdeenshire resident nearly £10,000 as Police warn others

By Lewis McBlane

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NORTH east Police have warned of a Royal Mail fake text scam, which took nearly £10,000 from an Aberdeenshire resident.

An example of a fake Royal Mail website. A similar example caused an Aberdeenshire resident to lose £10,000.
An example of a fake Royal Mail website. A similar example caused an Aberdeenshire resident to lose £10,000.

An intricate scam, involving fake texts and websites, scammers impersonating bank staff and phone apps which can let hackers control devices remotely, netted thieves a shocking £10,000.

Police are now sharing information about the scheme and urging people to avoid the same fate.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer PC Mark Irvine said: "We are reminding everyone to look out for such scams, as anyone with a mobile phone could be a target."

On the North East Police Division Facebook page, a Police Scotland spokesperson explained how the scam operates.

The spokesperson said: "On receiving a text message which they believed was from the Post Office, advising they had a missed a parcel, they clicked on the link to what looked like the genuine post office website.

"They input their name, date of birth and address in order to choose a new delivery date.

"They also had to input card details as it requested she paid a £2.50 delivery fee, which they did, as they were awaiting a delivery.

"Shortly afterwards, they received a phone call from an English male voice spoke who identified himself as being from her bank, advising there was fraudulent activity on their account.

"A further text was received, advising of an attempt to remove money.

"The male advised account had been hacked and he would set up a new account to transfer funds in to.

"Someone from the bank IT advised they download a mobile phone application called Any Desk which they did, resulting in them transferring the cash."

The Any Desk application is designed to allow IT professionals to solve tricky IT problems remotely, but could also be used to illegally transfer large sums of cash by controlling another person's phone.

Police Scotland shared steps people can take to thwart digital scams.

A spokesperson said: "If you receive a suspicious message via email, website or text message, you can take the following actions.

"Email - if you feel unsure about an email you have received, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at report@phishing.gov.uk

"Website - If you have come across a website which you think is fake, you can report it here - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/.../about.../report-scam-website

"Text message - Report suspicious text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent."

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