With the busy festive shopping spree well under way, police have advised shoppers and shopkeepers, especially in the Biggar area, to be on the alert for counterfeit cash circulating in the area.
A police spokesman told the Gazette this week that a quantity of “high-quality” fake £20 notes has been recovered after being handed over in shops in the town and the surrounding communities.
The spokesman continued: “While inquiries continue to apprehend those responsible, shop staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with cash currently in circulation and employ up-to-date fraud detection systems.”
Away from the traditional method of cash payment for gifts and goods, the festive season also seems to have encouraged fraudulent internet shopping activity.
In this case, the fraudsters appear to have cynically targeted parents wanting to buy their children the gifts most in demand among youngsters in the run-up to Christmas.
The police spokesman said that, in the run-up to the festive season, there had been a rise in this kind of virtual shopping crime and, again, encouraged consumers to be on their guard.
He said incidents so far “include customers paying for non-existent goods, goods for sale not being delivered and people being left out of pocket during an already expensive time of the year”.
In a direct appeal to shoppers, he went on: “Please make every effort to validate the sale you are about to make. Buy only from trusted websites.
“As is the case every year, there are certain must-have toys that are in very short supply.
“Be cautious if you find a site which has items readily available for sale which are difficult to find elsewhere.
“The age-old saying is especially true at this time of year – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Anyone with information or who has already been caught out by the internet fraudsters is urged to contact Police Scotland 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.