Fraud cases reach unprecedented levels in Scotland
Scottish Police Authority reports have revealed an ongoing crisis in handling fraud cases, with an increase of 68 per cent over the last five years.
With almost fifty instances reported daily, Police Scotland is currently solving one in every eight fraud crimes.
Online scamming attempts combined with a lack of resources to deal with them have been blamed as the main reason for the record-high figures.
A recent SPA report, reported by 1919 Magazine, said: “It is clear that as more crimes are being increasingly committed online and have a digital footprint, that Police Scotland will be unable to ‘arrest their way out of this problem’."
The ‘Policing in a digital world’ papers, published earlier this year, already set out a strategy to face the growing number of unresolved cybercrime cases, outlining pursuit, prevention and partnership as the three key measures going ahead. The document also revealed plans to invest over £4m in areas like 'cyber training and capabilities' to tackle this issue.
It is understood that other initiatives being considered are improving search capabilities of the ‘dark web’ and a project to identify young people “on the cusp of cyber-criminal behaviours”.
Detective inspector Jamie Campbell said: “It’s not always easy to spot a scam, anyone can be fooled – these criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations, and the police.”
Marjorie Gibson, head of operations for national advice service Advice Direct Scotland, said: “Scammers are constantly seeking new opportunities, including through social media, to target Scots and acquire personal information, bank details, or money.
“This includes exploiting households hit by the cost-of-living crisis and rising bills.
“One key thing to remember is that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”