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Visit Scotland | Alba

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1. Fraudulent emails

While digital technologies bring enormous opportunities, they also bring new threats and vulnerabilities. Cybercrime and cyber-attacks represent a major and growing threat to our economy and society.

In the past, we've received information from businesses about some spam / fraudulent emails with the subject line "enquiry from visitscotland.com" or simply stating the email comes from VisitScotland, when it does not.

 

Example

For the subject line example – this is the pre-populated subject line generated when a visitor clicks on the email link in the contact section of a visitscotland.com web listing. And fraudsters have used it to contact businesses with a request for a booking spanning a few weeks.

Example email | an email booking for long periods, usually 28 days. The "customer" accepts the cost and offers to pay by cheque. They then send a cheque for a higher amount, usually £1,000 more than was asked for. They claim it is a mistake and ask for the overpayment to be sent via bank transfer. The unsuspecting host sends the money then realises too late that the cheque has bounced.

There have also been two potential booking sites that are scams – the sites are fake and divert customers to scam online card payment.

 

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2. What to do if you are unsure

If you are ever unsure of an email you receive from us – or think is from us – please get in touch by contacting your Industry Relationship Manager or by emailing customer services.

You can forward suspicious emails to the relevant government email address. Suspected scam texts to your business’s mobile network provider can be forwarded to 7726. If a scam text claims to be from your business’s bank, then you should also report it to them.

 

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3. Useful advice on these topics

Research tells us that the public and many small organisations often see cyber crime and fraud as a single issue. In practise, different criminal entities can be involved in different activities - sometimes to defraud you directly, other times to steal your clients' personal data for example.

In any case, a strong cyber security is key to both keep criminals out and to deter them from attempting to target you in the first place. That's why we have provided some useful links to help you bolster your cyber security:

Useful sources

Related links