Colin Beattie MSP has encouraged people to be aware of scams and fake news following an increase in reports across Scotland about scam emails. Police Scotland have issued a warning on this matter following nearly 100 reports of this kind from the last few days.
Colin Beattie MSP commented:
‘It is extremely unfortunate that people are trying to take advantage of people in the middle of a global pandemic. I hope that I can make constituents aware of these scams that are currently on the increase.
It is very important when you receive these emails that you do not send the perpetrators any money. These emails may contain one of your personal passwords and in this scenario, you should change the password on any accounts it is associated with. Do not respond to the email, instead report it as spam, then delete it. If you still feel anxious, you can also report this matter to the police on 101.
I hope that these scams stop soon and that none of my constituents are affected by this. It can be very scary to receive emails of this nature, especially when they contain personal information, claim to have webcam footage or say that they have access to your contacts. It is important to try to remember that this is likely just a generic email, even though the experience is unpleasant and feels personal.
It may also be important for parents to speak to their children at this time to make them aware that they need to be responsible online. It is important that young people feel that they can discuss anything suspicious.’
Mr Beattie went on to discuss recent conspiracy theories which have been hitting the headlines over the last few weeks, including the theory relating 5G to the spread of Covid-19.
‘Spreading these conspiracy theories is extremely irresponsible and frankly dangerous. We have seen damage to infrastructure, such as phone towers, as a result of these theories. These attacks destroy essential network connections that people may currently rely on for support and waste the valuable time of our emergency services.
There is not a link between Covid-19 and 5G, and it is not acceptable for people to damage infrastructure as a result of fake news. This is very reckless at such a tense time and will cause additional pressure that is unnecessary when people already have so much on their minds. Services are strained, and people are already scared.
Can I urge everyone to ignore fake news and not further information that seems unrealistic. Always look for reliable sources if you are unsure if something is true or not. The best way to get accurate information right now is to keep up with the Scottish Government guidance and the NHS advice.’