Police warning after man scammed for £21K

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Police Scotland is warning of an online scam which has seen a pensioner defrauded of £21,000 after being told he had won a prize.

Social media fraudsters are at the heart of the con which led the 67-year-old to believe he had won £15,000 via an unsolicited email.

Their next step was to persuade him to part with £21,000 using a mixture of gift cards and cash, supposedly to cover the cost of delivery fees and taxes.

Only then, he was told, would his prize be put into his bank account – but the cash sum never materialised.

Although this type of fraud frequently goes unreported because of the embarrassment factor involved, the man chose to involve police in his home in the Selkirk area.

Fearing the sheer scale of the problem, officers have issued a nationwide warning about the plausible seeming scam.

Constable Christina Campbell confirmed: “On realising he had been the victim of a fraud, the man reported his concerns to police and we are now carrying out enquiries. We would encourage people to be extremely careful on social media.

“If something seems too good to be true, it is probably not to be trusted. It is best not to click on an unsolicited link.

“We would advise members of the public to never send money or personal financial details to someone who has contacted them unexpectedly on social media.

“People who carry on frauds like this are well-practised and go to great lengths to appear convincing.”