AYRSHIRE residents have been urged to be aware of new cost-of-living scams in Scotland as ScamWatch Fortnight begins.

This year’s ‘Read Between the Li(n)es’ campaign, from Advice Direct Scotland, highlights the importance of remaining vigilant - with fraudsters using emails, texts and social media to prey on people of all ages.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP said: “Scammers are criminals taking advantage of people of all ages and backgrounds.

“I encourage people to take time to read about how they can reduce exposure to scammers.”

To report a scam, fill in the ScamWatch Quick Reporting Tool at scamwatch.scot, which collects intelligence to share with various authorities.

If you have been contacted by someone and you are concerned they may be trying to scam you, the most important advice is as follows:

Don’t send them any money or buy anything - you should always do your homework before agreeing to anything such as checking online reviews of the company.

Don’t give them any personal information, bank details, passwords or PIN numbers. If you have given out this type of information, you should change all passwords and pins and notify your bank;

Don’t download any attachments or files in emails or click on any links; If you have, then you should check that your device security is up to date and run a virus scan.

Don’t ring any numbers you’ve received in an email or letter, especially if it’s a premium rate number; If you are unsure about the cost of dialling a particular number, contact your service provider for advice.

Don’t let them into your house. If you are concerned about someone that you have allowed into your house who has refused to leave or someone knocking on doors in your area, call the police.

Find out more at consumeradvice.scot/scamwatch22.