People in the Western Isles - as elsewhere – must be aware of new scams and fake news relating to coronavirus and lockdown following an increase in reports across Scotland about scam emails, text messages, and calls.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said that across the UK there is evidence fraudsters are increasingly targeting members of the public, as well as organisations of all sizes, with emails, texts, telephone calls, social media messages and online shopping scams relating to the outbreak.

Police Scotland have now launched a new Shut Out Scammers resource to protect the public and businesses from COVID-19 related scams.

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has also launched an email reporting service, which the public can use to report any suspicious activity.

Alasdair Allan commented:“It’s sad to see that, at such a time of national crisis, scammers are continuing to try and take advantage of the situation with unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages.

“During this coronavirus crisis, everyone should take extra care to ensure that they only share information from trusted sources, ask for identification from all doorstep callers, and never hand over any personal information.

"It’s vital that islanders remain vigilant against scams during this challenging time and report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities."