Police warn of laptop scam
Lothian and Borders Police are once again warning the public of an ongoing laptop sale scam that has hit several people in Edinburgh. Between last October and February this year, criminals targeted 12 people, offering to sell electrical goods for discount prices – only for the buyers to then discover they’ve been duped. Now it appears that the crooks are up to their old tricks again.
Officers urged the public to remain vigilant for this con and come forward if they believed they had been a victim.
A further five individuals have now been approached by fraudsters in the past three weeks and offered the opportunity to buy a laptop on the cheap. Once a fee is agreed, the customer is taken to a nearby vehicle and handed a bag, which contains what they believe to be their new goods. However, when the victim opens the bag, they discover it is filled only with cardboard and bottles of water.
Since October, £5300 has been taken during the incidents, which happened in areas including Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, Clerk Street, St Leonard’s, Meadowbank Retail Park, Gorgie Road and ASDA at the Jewel.
Detective Sergeant John Graham said: “This is not a new scam, but it continues to catch members of the public out, resulting in several thousand pounds of cash being conned from the victims. Our advice remains the same on this matter. If an offer seems to good to be true, then it probably is. Anyone wishing to purchase a laptop or other electrical goods should go to a recognised retailer.
“We are now in the middle of summer and the Capital is getting busier every day, which provides criminals with greater opportunities to scam people out of their money or possessions. Anyone who would like advice on crime prevention can visit their local policing team or visit the Lothian and Borders Police website. Detectives would also urge anyone who believes they’ve been affected by this scam to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.