Owen Thompson MP urges Midlothian residents to report cost-of-living scams

During Scotland's ScamWatch Fortnight, Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP) has urged residents to be on their guard against scams, especially as the cost of living soars.

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP).
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP).

This year’s ‘Read Between the Li(n)es’ campaign highlights the importance of remaining vigilant - with fraudsters using emails, texts and social media to prey on people of all ages.

Advice Direct Scotland says it continues to see new tactics deployed as criminals try to manipulate struggling households. This includes targeting people worried about energy bills with fake discounts on pre-payment meters, or bogus offers on HMRC rebates.

Mr Thompson said: "We all have to be on our guard against scammers, especially now when more people are struggling to make ends meet. There are some very good liars out there with no sense of morality, who will use sophisticated tactics to try and steal from people. It's vital to be aware, follow the advice and stay safe.

"Sometimes in retrospect it seems an obvious scam, and people feel a bit embarrassed for being taken in, but they shouldn't do - it could happen to any of us. We must work together to stop them in their tracks."

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Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “With scammers using a mixture of methods to target Scots consumers, it has never been more important for us to be aware of how to avoid them. We have seen scammers adapt their tactics in line with major world events, including the pandemic and crisis in Ukraine.

“New scams including fake energy rebates are being recorded as scammers try to exploit the challenging circumstances facing many families across Scotland.

“Throughout the campaign, we are highlighting the importance of remaining vigilant and pausing before interacting with emails, text messages or social media adverts. It’s important to remember there is no shame in being scammed, and consumers who are concerned should contact one of our specialist consumer advisers for free practical advice.”

The simple ScamWatch Quick Reporting Tool is available to report scams and suspicious activity at www.scamwatch.scot. You can also contact Police Scotland 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.