STV puts Spotlight on Fraud in new series of Stopping Scotland’s Scammers

26 April 2017 For more information, please email our Press Office

STV will explore the shocking range of financial scams in Scotland and the devastating effect they can have on ordinary people as popular series Stopping Scotland’s Scammersreturns on Friday 5 May at 2000.

The new series, presented by Jackie Brambles, will give viewers an insight into some of the most common scams in Scotland, alongside more unusual methods used by fraudsters to target hard working Scots.

In four 30 minute episodes, Jackie meets with victims of online, phone, text and tenancy scams and speaks to industry experts for practical advice on how to protect yourself against fraud.

Viewers will hear real life stories from victims of financial crime, including B&B owner Keith from Fife who was a victim of the Choudhary case, a highly sophisticated scheme described as Britain’s biggest ever cyber scam. The scheme, which was led by Glasgow man Feezan Choudhary, scammed 750 businesses and individuals across Britain out of a staggering £113 million by posing as the bank’s fraud team.

Jackie finds out more about a puppy scam operation set up by Police Scotland, Scottish SPCA and Stenaline to target illegal puppy trade, and follows officers as they undertake a stop and search procedure at the port of Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Viewers will hear from Jeanette and Paul from Ayr who paid nearly £7000 for a campervan they found on eBay, only to find they were victims of a scam; the campervan never arrived. Arlene from West Lothian lost £4000 after receiving a call from a scammer pretending to be from her internet provider. Accessing Arlene’s laptop remotely, the scammer made it look like £4000 had accidently been paid into her bank account and Arlene repaid the scammer with her own money via wire transfer.

The new series also explores the online habits of teenagers to find out why they are more likely to be victims of fraud than adults, and ethical hacker Scott McGready gives advice on how to viewers can help teenagers stay safe online.

Jackie Brambles said: “During the filming of the third series, myself and the production team have been heartened to learn of the positive steps that people are beginning to take to protect themselves against scams. What I’m hoping the next four shows will do is to alert people to the fact that basic precautions are no longer good enough. Just as consumer awareness has been raised, the response from the bad guys is to take the level of sophistication in their scams to a gobsmacking level.

“Latest statistics show that Scotland receives more nuisance calls than anywhere else in the UK so we’ll be showing people how to protect themselves against this extraordinary onslaught of scams and remind them that the classic trickster’s scenario of offering something that’s “too good to be true” is still fooling bargain-hunters and netting the scammers millions of pounds.

Our stories will span the generations, as we tell a chilling tale of extraordinary financial abuse of an elderly relative by a trusted carer and show you the amazing posties helping to safeguard the elderly against mail based scams. At the other end of the spectrum, we’ll be revealing the startling statistics that make young people a major target for cyber-criminals as we get a glimpse inside teen video diaries and teen social media attitudes – and if you assumed that because youngsters were born as digital natives they are foolproof when it comes to being tricked online, think again.

“More than anything else, once again I’ve been struck by the generosity of spirit of the people that I met throughout the making of the series, who choose to share their stories in the hope to help prevent others going through the financially and emotionally traumatic experience of being scammed. So tune in, take note and make sure you’re doing your part in stopping Scotland’s scammers.”

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV, said: “Financial crime is far more common than we’d like to think and these real-life stories show that anyone of us could fall victim to a scammer. In this new series, our experts will share their top tips and offer practical advice to help viewers stay one step ahead of fraudsters and their ever changing tactics.”

Stopping Scotland’s Scammers is sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scottish board, said: “According to Financial Fraud Action UK, financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £755 million in the UK – a rise of 26% over previous years.

“At the Royal Bank of Scotland we know how important it is to make sure people are aware of the threat financial crime poses. STV’s Stopping Scotland’s Scammers is a great opportunity for the public to hear from experts on the importance of being aware of the issue – and how they can help protect themselves from such criminality.”

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