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Peterhead student fights back against scammers

Adam Buchan.
Adam Buchan.

A north-east computing student is hoping to make life difficult for scammers after seeing one of his relatives targeted.

Adam Buchan has launched his own social media page to shine a light on those looking to exploit people for financial gain.

The 20-year-old from Peterhead was inspired after his uncle was among residents targeted by a criminal gang.

Their scam began with a message telling Facebook users they were entitled to money and asking for personal information such as age, occupation, salary details and e-mail addresses.

The scammers then asked for money to be transferred to an account in Poland and, after receiving receipt of payment, cut off all contact.

Mr Buchan, who is studying computing at college in Fraserburgh, said he wants to let people in the north-east know what to look out for if they become a target.

He said: “This scam has been targeting people in Peterhead for the last few years and it has come back recently.

“I just wanted to try and spread the word so people don’t get caught out.

“It can seem pretty easy to catch but there are still a lot of folk out there that think ‘great, I am entitled to a lot of money here’.

“My uncle got scammed. He sent his identification and they hacked into his Facebook, though he fortunately didn’t send any money.

“Another person involved had a bank account set up in her name and I think she lost a bit of money.

“I will be trying to help raise awareness of scams, whether they are online or not, to ensure that people don’t get caught out.”

The police have confirmed they have received reports of the scam from people living in Peterhead.

Detective inspector Iain McPhail of the economic crime unit said it is important to contact officers if you may have been targeted.

He said: “Never provide your personal or bank details online or over the phone – you don’t know who you could be giving these details to.

“It’s very easy to be tricked by fraudsters but if sounds too good to be true it usually is.”

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of fraud should contact their bank and inform the police by calling 101.

Mr Buchan’s page, which includes advice about avoiding scams, can be found at www.facebook.com/PreventingFraudUK.

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