Muckhart Village from Seamab

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland notifications


ITune / Store Gift cards Scams – October 2017

Police Scotland Forth Valley Division have recently become aware of another ITunes Scam along the same lines as previous incidents whereby members of the public have been receiving phone calls from persons claiming to be from Government Departments such as HMRC (Her Majesty Revenue and Customs) or similar type departments.

The general scam is that the victim is advised that they have underpaid their contributions to the relevant department over the years and they now require to pay this back.  The method of payment requested is by way of Store card vouchers or gift card vouchers such as ITunes or similar.

The member of the public will thereafter attend at a relevant outlet (generally a supermarket as identified by the caller) and purchase the cards or voucher.  The caller can ask for payments up to Thousands of pounds and will advise the victim that failure to pay may result in them being arrested or taken to jail.

The scammers will arrange to phone back to obtain the relevant validation / identifier codes which are displayed on the rear of the cards / vouchers from the person once the voucher has been purchased. As a result the scammer will now have control over the monetary value of the card / voucher.


Please consider elderly family members when reading about this scam and advise them of its existence and encourage them not to engage with any requests of this type

Feel free to highlight this issue via any social media that you have access to.

It may be of note that an information video is available on the Police Scotland Forth Valley Division Facebook page which would be worth viewing.

Your assistance is appreciated

Thank you

PC C054 Bryan Mackie



Potential Phishing Email Scam Warning

Following the recent disclosure by credit reporting company Equifax Inc. that hackers gained access to some of its systems, compromising the personal information of some 143 million U.S. customers and potentially some UK customers there is, as a result, the potential for an increase in Phishing emails (falsely posing as genuine company) with credit related themes asking users to log in, check status of accounts, provide personal information or to offer additional services or security checking etc.

As with all phishing emails:
•Do not click on any part of the email
•Delete email immediately
•Make sure your spam filter is on your emails. If you find a suspicious email, mark it as spam and delete it to keep out similar ones in the future
If in doubt, check it is genuine by asking the company itself. Never call numbers or follow links provided by the suspicious email – find the official website or customer support number using a separate browser and search engine


Livestock Worrying Crime Reduction

A Police Scotland co-ordinated rural campaign has seen livestock worrying drop by nearly 40% during the spring lambing season compared to last year. The three month campaign saw 43 reported incidents. Like last year, most incidents involved only one dog and in 53% of cases this year, the offending dog was local to the area, roaming free or otherwise not under proper control.

Sheep are almost always the animals affected and in 86% of cases livestock was either injured or died as a result of the incident.

This third yearly campaign has also led to an increase in criminal prosecutions with almost three times as many people convicted of livestock worrying offences and direct measure penalties increasing threefold in 2016 compared to 2015.

NFU Scotland, Scottish Lands and Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Kennel Club have all worked with Police Scotland to raise awareness of this crime, encourage farmers to report incidents and to educate dog owners.

Farmers are being encouraged to help walkers by indicating alternative routes avoiding enclosures with livestock and to report all incidents of livestock worrying to Police Scotland including occasions where there has been a near miss.

Further information is available on the Police Scotland website: at latest news.


Rural Watch Scotland launch (23rd June 2017)

Today at the Royal Highland Show, Ingliston the partnership of Police Scotland, NFU Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland will launch their Rural Watch Scotland initiative.

‘Rural Watch Scotland’ is an extension of the Neighbourhood Watch concept and a product of the *Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) designed specifically for the rural communities of Scotland and aims to bring all the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch to rural communities irrespective of location, size or demographics.

The objectives of Rural Watch Scotland are to:
•Reduce crime and the fear of crime by providing the right information, to the right people, at the right time
•Encourage people to think about safety and security for themselves, their neighbours and their community
•Improve community cohesion and well-being
•Work in partnership with national and local service providers to develop more resilient communities that are better prepared against threats, intentional or unintentional, such as crime or extreme weather

In meeting these objectives effective communication between partners and consistent engagement with rural communities is vital. Neighbourhood ALERT, a targeted, two way messaging system specifically designed in the UK for the purposes of community engagement will play a central role in providing consistent, locally relevant and inclusive communication with people living and working within a rural setting. The last six months has seen the establishment of a local Neighbourhood ALERT administrator network across all areas of Police Scotland.

Rural Watch Scotland encourages people to sign up to receive alerts and advice by email, text or voicemail from local police officers and other approved information providers. Keeping communities informed about crime and other threats in their areas can help prevent crime, keep communities and residents safe, and the response to these alerts can help catch criminals or allow communities to better prepare to deal with local issues.

To sign up to receive local ALERTS users simply click the green JOIN button on the Rural Watch Website – Experience provides that people who sign up to Rural Watch Scotland and thereafter apply the advice they receive will be less likely to be a victim of crime and be better prepared for other potential harm.

Signing up for local ALERTS does not require anyone to join or start up a formal Rural Watch scheme, however the benefits of joining or establishing such a local community group are always available.

Superintendent Gavin Robertson, who chairs the SPARC Group said: “The availability of a national Rural Watch Alert platform has been one of the main aims of SPARC since it was formed in 2015. I am pleased to see the service come to fruition. I am confident that this direct messaging system will benefit rural communities and I urge farmers, foresters, rural businesses and residents as well as those who regularly visit the countryside for leisure activities to sign up to receive relevant information about rural crime in their area.  I am grateful for the funding from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, NFU Scotland and Police Scotland to bring a consistent messaging service to all rural communities across the country.”

Jamie Smart, NFU Scotland’s Legal and Technical Policy Committee Chairman, commented: “NFU Scotland has been working closely as part of the SPARC group to reduce rural crime in all its forms, and we are starting to see some real benefits from this partnership.”

“This new platform is designed to allow faster communications, alerting those in the rural communities of problems or potential problems in their own area. This service is free, can be tailored to your own requirements and only takes minutes to register.”

“We would urge all of our members to register their details to stay informed of all of the latest developments in their area.”

Detective Chief Inspector Ronnie Megaughin, Safer Communities, Police Scotland said,  “We are delighted that the Rural Watch Alert messaging system is now available across Scotland. Rural Watch messaging system is an excellent facility to get relevant information to rural residents about crime and incidents in their local area and I am grateful for the support given by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland in getting us to this point”

Alan Dobie, Chair of the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Board said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to bring the benefits of strong, resilient and well connected communities to all the rural areas in Scotland”.

*The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) is a multi-agency partnership that includes Police Scotland, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Scottish Government, NFU Mutual, Crimestoppers, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.


Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud 12/06/2017 19:00:40 [182306]

Fraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).

These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster.

Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting, or by calling 0300 123 2040.




Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.

The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.

Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information.

Protect yourself:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.
  • Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.
  • If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040

2017-06-27 – 29890_Rural_Watch_Scotland_Press_Release_230616


Manchester attack statement from Chief Constable Gormley

Message sent by
Willie Clark (NHWN, Community Engagement Officer, NW Scotland)

Statement from Chief Constable Phil Gormley following the Manchester terror attack on Monday evening.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “My thoughts and those of everyone at Police Scotland continue to be with those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in the attack in Manchester.

“With the threat level now at Critical, we have now established a multi-agency co-ordination centre to lead and co-ordinate the response across the country along with key partners.

“Police Scotland will be increasing our operations to protect the people of Scotland, our businesses and public places.

“This may include a range of options aimed at increasing security at these sites, reassuring residents, businesses, workers and visitors so they can go about their daily lives as normally as possible.

“Yesterday morning, we increased the number of armed police on patrol at key locations and the public should expect to see armed officers on foot patrol.

“We are reviewing all significant events along with event organisers taking place within the next 14 days and will increase the security footprint around those events where it is deemed appropriate.

“We have well-rehearsed plans to respond to major incidents and we will be continuing to work with our partners to address the current heightened threat.

“However, there is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland but I would ask the public to remain alert and report anything suspicious.”

Contact Details

Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Useful links:–terrorist-firearms-and-weapons-attacks


Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.

One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.

The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.

It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.

Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t call numbers from pop-up messages.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer.
  • Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.
  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.

If you believe you have already been a victim

  • Get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.
  • Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.



The following message has been sent to NWS from the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Team:

Protecting Yourself and Your Community Online

Are you resilient in the online world?

Protecting our families, neighbourhoods, and businesses from cyber attacks is everyone’s responsibility.

There is no silver bullet to defend against cyber criminals, but by getting the cyber basics right, everyone is able to take appropriate measures to stay safe and get the most from being online. 

Last week (12th May 2017) thousands of private and public sector organisations across the world were affected by a serious coordinated ransomware attack. While there have been no new sustained attacks of that kind identified (at 15th May 2017), it is important everyone understands how these attacks work and how to protect themselves in the future.

Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves:

·         Run software and app updates on your internet connected devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, phones) – these updates are free and contain essential security upgrades which help protect your device from viruses and hackers.

·         A strong password made up of three random words is your first and best defence against cyber criminals. It’s just like locking your front door or your car – keep them safe and don’t have the same keys for every lock.

·         Make sure your antivirus product it is up to date and run a scan – if you don’t have one then install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor

·         If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else. We recommend that you don’t store backups on the same computer, or any other device within your home network. Home users should consider using cloud services to back up their important files. Many service providers (for example, email providers) offer a small amount of cloud storage space for free.

The NCSC have previously published broader guidance on protecting yourself from ransomware, which is available here and Cyber Awarehave simple advice on updates and passwords.



The latest Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Newsletter is out.
This edition reflects a number of the positive changes since 2016, such as changes to our Team and Board, strengthening our key partnerships and our increasing focus on the things that communities have raised as a concern or interest when we have met with them.
A vital step in providing you with more locally relevant information has been a shared approach to use of our Neighbourhood ALERT messaging system. Through the opportunity presented by Rural Watch Scotland and our close working relationship with Scottish Borders ALERT and Perth & Kinross Community Watch we are taking the first major steps towards achieving our objective of “getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time” across all Scottish communities.

You can read it by clicking on this link .

Kind Regards

Brian Connel
Neighbourhood Watch Scotland


Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel.

After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victims’ wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster’s items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise.

After all the fake police ‘checks’ are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing.

How to protect yourself:

  • If an individual claims to be a police officer ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
  • The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.
  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a ‘safe’ account.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting