Woman conned out of £1,000 after email from scammer impersonating her boss

An Aberdeen charity worker was the target of a gift voucher fraud just days into her new role.

A woman conned out of £1,000 after receiving an email from a scammer impersonating her boss has issued a warning to shoppers this festive season.

Sandra, from Aberdeen, who wishes to remain anonymous, was previously caught out after she was the target of a gift voucher fraud.

Four days into her new job at a charity, someone impersonating the CEO of the company emailed to ask if she wanted to buy £1,000 worth of Amazon vouchers.

She said: “The title of the email was ‘urgent task’. I wanted to make a good impression and help out, and she got back saying ‘I need you to buy Amazon vouchers’.

“I got to Tesco and I texted the number that she gave me and said, ‘I am here, how much do you want me to get?'”

The fraudster then asked Sandra to purchase five vouchers valued at £200 each.

Warning to watch out for scams this festive season

“She was quite demanding of information from me,” Sandra said.

“I just bought the vouchers, and she asked me to turn over all the vouchers, scratch off the back and send pictures.

“It was at that point I thought ‘there’s something really not right here’.”

Police are warning Christmas shoppers not to let online scammers spoil their festive season as Scotland faces its highest rate of fraud yet.

Fraud in Scotland has increased year-on-year to its highest ever levels, with 16,000 cases reported last year – though it’s thought at least double that rate goes unreported.

Across the UK last year, more than £1.2bn was stolen through fraud.

As the cost of living crisis cuts deep during the winter months, police say people could be caught out looking for a bargain online.

Police are warning that criminals targeting people online or by phone are usually part of a sophisticated organised crime group.

Police Scotland inspector George Nixon said: “If there is a present they are looking to buy or post-Christmas they may be trying to pick something up at a good price. Maybe they have less money.

“They could find that the item is not as it was advertised or it’s maybe not even there at all.

“But by that time they have paid for it, so it’s really to have a close look at who is contacting you or who you are contacting and making sure they are a legitimate person.”

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