SCAMMERS targeting residents of the Outer Hebrides have been claiming to be police and castigating people for not wearing face masks.

Face coverings have been compulsory on public transport in Scotland since June 22, and madatory in shops since July 10.

The fraudulent callers have apparently been impersonating police officers and accusing people of having broken these new laws.

The Highlands and Islands police said they were aware of several cases around Stornoway. 

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They said: "We received a report around 3pm on Thursday, July 16, 2020, of a scam call where a person claimed to be a police officer and accused the person of not wearing a face mask.

“Officers are aware that other people in Stornoway have received similar calls and are urging anyone else who has received one to make them aware by contacting 101.

“The calls are not genuine and we are advising people not to give out any information and report the calls to police.

“Enquiries into the calls are ongoing.”

Police have not said what the fraudsters are after.

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The coronavirus lockdown has proved fertile grounds for scammers.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) said there were indications that the number of pandemic-related crime reports had rocketed by 400%.

Angela Brand, one of the officers seconded to SBRC from Police Scotland, said there has been a marked increase in phishing emails, scams and an array of counterfeit goods being offered for sale, all related to Covid-19.

Anyone worried about falling victim should check the police website for further advice