Japanese tourists targeted by fraudsters posing as police officers

Police have issued a warning after a pair of Japanese tourists were scammed by fraudsters posing as police officers in Edinburgh.

The tourists were approached in separate incidents by another man, believed to also be Japanese, who engaged them in conversation and asked them to take a picture with his camera.

Two further men then approached claiming to be police officers carrying out financial checks.

The tourists were asked to insert their bank cards and pin numbers into a device as part of these enquiries, which both men did.

The 51-year-old later discovered a sum of cash had been taken from his account. However, the 31-year-old entered a fake pin and was not defrauded of any money.

Both incidents occurred on Saturday, the first at 3.30pm at Playfair Steps and the second at 6.15pm near the top of Broughton Street.

Police are now conducting enquiries in the city centre to identify the three men believed to be responsible and are warning the public not to be fooled by this scam.

The first suspect is described as Japanese, 40-50 years old, slim build with short black hair. He was wearing an indigo blue puffer jacket, jumper, dark trousers and was carrying a small digital camera.

The second suspect is described as white, 40-50 years old with a fat build and wearing a black jumper and black trousers, while the third suspect is described as white, 40-50 years old with a slim build and wearing black clothing.

A police spokesman said: "It's very concerning that two men who are tourists to the city were targeted by males impersonating police officers.

"We believe the Japanese man who asked the victims to take a picture is also involved in this fraud and anyone who can assist us in identifying the three suspects is asked to contact police immediately.

"Police officers always carry identification and will never ask for your bank or credit card details. Anyone approached in this manner should decline the request and report the matter to their local policing team."