A north-east businessman has urged others to be on the alert after online scammers tried to steal cash from his customers.
Fraser Watson Electrical and TV Aerial Services, in Turriff, appeared to send out invoices by email to people who had recently had work done in the town.
But last night Mr Watson said he sent no such message.
And the elaborate ploy by scammers, he has warned, could result in people losing money.
He has since posted the authentic-looking letter online alongside a message to existing customers to not open the e-mail.
Mr Watson said: “One customer printed it off and showed me it – it’s a worry. I’m just trying to do the right thing.
“Another local business got in touch with me to say they had received this scam as well.
“I’ve been in business 15 years and this is the first time this has happened. I don’t know if an email has been hacked or Facebook, or what has happened.”
The email comes amid a busy spell for Mr Watson’s business with 4G masts going up locally, which may have have provided the scammers with the opportunity to strike.
He added: “We’ve never had anything like it.
“One of the guys I work with had once advertised his business on Facebook and someone had cloned his license plate from it. It was found on the M25 attached to a lorry. We just live in that kind of world it seems.”
The fake e-mail can be recognised by the contact details it provides for Mr Watson’s business.
It states “your invoice reminder” before linking to a German language website and offering a phone number for a separate firm in England.